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Title: Environmental exposures contribute to respiratory and allergic symptoms among women living in the banana growing regions of Costa Rica.

Authors: Alhanti, Brooke; van Wendel de Joode, Berna; Soto Martinez, Manuel; Mora, Ana M; Córdoba Gamboa, Leonel; Reich, Brian; Lindh, Christian H; Quirós Lépiz, Marcela; Hoppin, Jane A

Published In Occup Environ Med, (2022 Jul)

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: This research evaluates whether environmental exposures (pesticides and smoke) influence respiratory and allergic outcomes in women living in a tropical, agricultural environment. METHODS: We used data from 266 mothers from the Infants' Environmental Health cohort study in Costa Rica. We evaluated environmental exposures in women by measuring seven pesticide and two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons metabolites in urine samples. We defined 'high exposure' as having a metabolite value in the top 75th percentile. We collected survey data on respiratory and allergic outcomes in mothers as well as on pesticides and other environmental exposures. Using logistic regression models adjusted for obesity, we assessed the associations of pesticide exposure with multiple outcomes (wheeze, doctor-diagnosed asthma, high (≥2) asthma score based on symptoms, rhinitis, eczema and itchy rash). RESULTS: Current pesticide use in the home was positively associated with diagnosed asthma (OR=1.99 (95% CI=1.05 to 3.87)). High urinary levels of 5-hydroxythiabendazole (thiabendazole metabolite) and living in a neighbourhood with frequent smoke from waste burning were associated with a high asthma score (OR=1.84 (95%CI=1.05 to 3.25) and OR=2.31 (95%CI=1.11 to 5.16), respectively). Women who worked in agriculture had a significantly lower prevalence of rhinitis (0.19 (0.01 to 0.93)), but were more likely to report eczema (OR=2.54 (95%CI=1.33 to 4.89)) and an itchy rash (OR=3.17 (95%CI=1.24 to 7.73)). CONCLUSIONS: While limited by sample size, these findings suggest that environmental exposure to both pesticides and smoke may impact respiratory and skin-related allergic outcomes in women.

PubMed ID: 34969778 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Asthma/epidemiology; Cohort Studies; Costa Rica/epidemiology; Eczema/epidemiology; Environmental Exposure*/adverse effects; Exanthema/epidemiology; Female; Humans; Hypersensitivity*/epidemiology; Musa; Pesticides/adverse effects; Respiratory Tract Diseases*/epidemiology; Rhinitis/epidemiology; Smoke/adverse effects

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