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|Follicular DNA Damage and Pesticide Exposure Among Latinx Children in Rural and Urban Communities
|Year of Publication
|Lepetit C, Gaber M, Zhou K, Chen H, Holmes J, Summers P, Anderson KA, Scott RP, Pope CN, Hester K, Laurienti PJ, Quandt SA, Arcury TA, Vidi P‑A
The intersectional risks of children in United States immigrant communities include environmental exposures. Pesticide exposures and their biological outcomes are not well characterized in this population group. We assessed pesticide exposure and related these exposures to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in Latinx children from rural, farmworker families (FW; N = 30) and from urban, non-farmworker families (NFW; N = 15) living in North Carolina. DSBs were quantified in hair follicular cells by immunostaining of 53BP1, and exposure to 72 pesticides and pesticide degradation products were determined using silicone wristbands. Cholinesterase activity was measured in blood samples. DSB frequencies were higher in FW compared to NFW children. Seasonal effects were detected in the FW group, with highest DNA damage levels in April–June and lowest levels in October–November. Acetylcholinesterase depression had the same seasonality and correlated with follicular DNA damage. Organophosphate pesticides were more frequently detected in FW than in NFW children. Participants with organophosphate detections had increased follicular DNA damage compared to participants without organophosphate detection. Follicular DNA damage did not correlate with organochlorine or pyrethroid detections and was not associated with the total number of pesticides detected in the wristbands. These results point to rural disparities in pesticide exposures and their outcomes in children from vulnerable immigrant communities. They suggest that among the different classes of pesticides, organophosphates have the strongest genotoxic effects. Assessing pesticide exposures and their consequences at the individual level is key to environmental surveillance programs. To this end, the minimally invasive combined approach used here is particularly well suited for children.