Seasonal pesticide use in a rural community on the US/Mexico border

Natalie C.G. Freeman*, Stuart L. Shalat, Kathleen Black, Marta Jimenez, Kirby C. Donnelly, A. Calvin, Juan Ramirez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


An environmental measurement and correlation study of infant and toddler exposure to pesticides was carried out in a colonia south of the city of Laredo, Texas. As part of the study, homes were visited during the late spring or summer, and during the winter of 2000-2001. At each visit, families reported on their use of pesticides in and around the home and floor wipe samples were collected and analyzed for 14 organophosphate and triazine pesticides. Selection of homes was based on the presence of infants and toddlers. A total of 27 homes participated in both seasonal visits. The interval between visits was 6 ± 1.4 months. Univariate and multivariate nonparametric analyses were carried out using SPSS® statistical software. Pesticide use within the home was more often reported than outside use and showed seasonal variation in use patterns. Indoor use was primarily associated with ants and cockroaches, and secondarily with rodents. The primary room treated was the kitchen, and the primary structures treated were the floors, lower walls, and dish cupboards. Seasonal variations were not found in the use of pesticides used outside the home and outdoor use was primarily associated with ant control. Based on parent reports, most pesticides used in the homes were pyrethroids. Several of the pesticides measured in floor wipe samples, Azinphos methyl, Fonofos, and Simazine, also showed seasonal variations. However, these pesticides are used in agriculture and were not associated with reported house and yard use patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Border
  • Exposure
  • Hispanic
  • Organophosphate pesticides
  • Pyrethroid pesticides
  • Rodenticides
  • Triazine pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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