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Longitudinal Exposure to Selected Pesticides in Drinking Water

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The presence and temporal fluctuations of concentrations of insecticides and herbicides in natural waters has been well documented. Little, however, is known about exposure to pesticides through drinking water for the general population. Concentrations often pesticides, including 4,4′DDE and atrazine, were measured up to six times at equally spaced intervals over a 1-year period in drinking water of 80 randomly selected residences in Maryland. Atrazine was detected in 228 (57.9%) of the drinking water samples with a mean of 0.15 µg/L, with standard deviation 0.12 µg/L, median 0.17 µg/L, and range <0.037 to 0.46 µg/L. 4,4′DDE was found in 22 (5.6%) water samples; no other target analytes were detected. Concentrations of atrazine in drinking water were found to vary over a 12-month period with the greatest concentrations in the late summer and fall and the lowest in the early spring. Atrazine concentrations in drinking water were influenced more by differences in levels among residences than by time of year. Seven-day average exposures and exposures per unit body weight to atrazine in drinking water exhibited a similar temporal pattern. Among individuals, drinking water consumption rate was a more important determinant of atrazine exposure (µg/d) and exposure per unit body weight (µg/kg/d) than atrazine concentration in drinking water or body weight.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Georgia, Athens, GA 2: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 3: Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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