Tractor spraying pesticides in California

WCAHS has a long history of studying pesticide exposure and occupational safety. Pesticides are an essential part of farming, but can cause serious health problems if safety precautions are not taken to limit exposure.

WCAHS was instrumental in developing a standardized method to test for pesticide poisoning by measuring blood levels of cholinesterase, an enzyme necessary for nerve and muscle communication, that is inhibited by certain types of pesticides. The test was an important factor in establishing cholinesterase monitoring programs for agricultural works in California and Washington.

WCAHS has also been involved in developing rapid assays to detect pesticides in farm and landscape workers and to apply these assays to examine exposure levels. These assays are based on using antibodies to quickly determine worker pesticide exposure from their urine samples, similar to how a home pregnancy test is done.

Pesticide Exposure Detection Publications

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in plasma and its application to farmers and consumers. Thiphom S, Prapamontol T, Chantara S, Mangklabruks A, Suphavilai C, Ahn KC, Gee SJ, Hammock BD. Anal Meth 2012;4(11):3772-8. PMCID: PMC3646417

An immunoassay for the detection of triclosan-O-glucuronide, a primary human urinary metabolite of triclosan. Ranganathan A, Gee SJ, Hammock BD. Anal Bioanal Chem 2015 Sep;407(24):7263-73. PMCID: PMC4580343

Competitive immunochromatographic assay for the detection of the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos. Kim YA, Lee EH, Kim KO, Lee YT, Hammock BD, Lee HS. Anal Chim Acta 2011;693(1-2):106-113. PMCID: PMC3927651

Concentrations of the urinary pyrethroid metabolite 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in farm worker families in the MICASA study. Trunnelle KJ, Bennett DH, Ahn KC, Schenker MB, Tancredi DJ, Gee SJ, Stoecklin-Marois MT, Hammock BD. Environ Res. 2014 May;131:153-9. PMID: 24721133

Determination of the pyrethroid insecticide metabolite 3-PBA in plasma and urine samples from farmer and consumer groups in northern Thailand. Thiphom S, Prapamontol T, Chantara S, Mangklabruks A, Suphavilai C, Ahn KC, Gee SJ, Hammock BD. J Environ Sci Health B. 2014;49(1):15-22. PMCID: PMC4020914

Development of an immunoassay for the detection of the phenylpyrazole insecticide fipronil. Vasylieva N, Ahn KC, Barnych B, Gee SJ, Hammock BD.  Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015 Aug 18;49(16):10038-47. PMCID: PMC4605820

Development of phage immuno-loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays for organo phosphorus pesticides in agro-products. Hua X, Yin W, Wang H, Wang Y, Kim HJ, Gee SJ, Wang M, Liu F, Hammock BD. Anal Chem 2014;86:8441-7. PMCID: PMC4139188.

Immunoassays and biosensors for monitoring environmental and human exposure to pyrethroid insecticides. Ahn KC, Kim H-J, McCoy MR, Gee SJ, Hammock BD. J Agric Food Chem 2011;59(7):2792-2802. PMCID: PMC3070843

Isolation of alpaca anti-hapten heavy chain single domain antibodies for development of sensitive immunoassay. Kim HJ, McCoy M, Majkova Z, Dechant J, Gee SJ, Tabares-da Rosa S, Gonzalez-Sapienza GG, Hammock BD. Anal Chem 2012;84(2):1165-71. PMCID: PMC3264785

Monitoring of total type II pyrethroid pesticides in citrus oils and water by converting to a common product 3-phenoxybenzoic acid. McCoy M, Yang Z, Fu X, Ahn KC, Gee SJ, Bom D, Zhong P, Chang D, Hammock BD. J Agric Food Chem 2012;60(20):5065-70. PMCID: PMC3412423.

One-step immunoassay for tetrabromobisphenol A using a camelid single domain antibody-alkaline phosphatase fusion protein. Wang J, Majkova Z, Bever CRS, Yang J, Gee SJ, J Li, T Xu, Hammock BD. Anal Chem. 2015;87(9):4741-8. PMCID: PMC4476793

Pyrethroids in house dust from the homes of farm worker families in the MICASA study. Trunnelle KJ, Bennett DB, Tancredi DJ, Gee SJ, Stoecklin-Marois MT, Hennessy-Burt TE, Hammock BD, Schenker MB. Environmental International. 2013 Nov;61:57-63. PMID: 24096042

VHH antibodies: emerging reagents for the analysis of environmental chemicals. Bever CS, Dong JX, Vasylieva N, Barnych B, Cui Y, Xu ZL, Hammock BD, Gee SJ.  Anal Bioanal Chem. 2016 Sep;408(22):5985-6002. PMID: 27209591