PPRT- Sung-Hee Seo & Stuart Batterman

2020-2021 PPRT Project

Assessment of Occupation Exposure to Pesticides Using Biological Monitoring and Self-Reported Exposure Data in a Michigan Cohort

Research Trainee: Sung-Hee Seo, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan

Principal Investigator: Stuart Batterman, PhD, Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan

Sung-Hee Seo, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher

Stuart Batterman, PhD, Professor

The overall objective of the proposed project is to demonstrate methods that can improve occupational exposure assessments, specifically for epidemiological investigations of pesticide exposure, by combining the use of biological monitoring with participant-provided survey data. In addition, the proposed study will provide advanced training in occupational exposure assessment methods to a post-doctoral researcher. The specifics aims are to: (1) develop and validate methods to measure biomarkers of pesticide exposure in archived urine samples, specifically focusing on dialkyl phosphates, which are metabolites of organophosphate pesticides (OPs); (2) measure OP metabolites in two subsets of subjects, specifically workers who selfreport exposure to pesticides in the workplace, and those who do not report pesticide exposure; and (3) analyze survey and biological monitoring results to determine whether self-reported exposure is associated with elevated levels of OP metabolites, to identify specific jobs or activities in the survey that might be associated with exposure, and to assess the potential role of factors that might affect results, including home and environmental exposures. Organophosphate pesticides are now the most widely used pesticide in agriculture and other applications. The study will utilize biological samples, survey and clinical data that has been previously collected and appropriately stored in a large case-control study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) stored in the University of Michigan ALS Patient Repository (UMAPR). The repository includes both data and specimens from ALS patients and healthy controls drawn across Michigan, and represents a largely working-class population. The combination of biological measurements and questionnaire data may represent the best feasible method to both quantify exposure and confirm the source of exposure. The study will help evaluate the value of information provided by surveys and biological monitoring, which potentially can address gaps in each method and lead to a better understanding of exposure and disease risk factors.


PPRT Director:

Adam M. Finkel, Sc. D., CIH
Clinical Professor of Environmental Health Sciences