Chlorpyrifos - The Test Results

Results of tests done on Chlorpyrifos were released in 2000 and because of what they had observed, the APVMA stated that the Chlorpyrifos should come down drastically in the home and garden areas to less than 50 g per liter. They also proposed that there should be more stringent warnings on the labels of the products so that users were alert to the possible dangers and would not use it as they had been doing for so many years, believing it to be absolutely safe for human and animal health.

The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has also been conducting tests in the recent past and has advocated that there could be health and environmental concerns and so the chemical will have to be regulated and used judiciously. There were also studies conducted by Fenske et al which concluded that the there was a high concentration of Chlorpyrifos in the air even a whole 24 hours after it had been sprayed and this could be especially very harmful to infants. When the level of occurrence in the air was around sixty times higher than what was permissible by the EPA, it was cause for a lot of concern. A study that was done in 1996 found that the chemical resulted in birth defects so it was concluded that the chemical was ingested through breathing and through absorption through the skin. The defects were seen in the heart, palate, brain, nerves, etc. With a very high exposure to the product Dursban, children scored much lower on the Bayley Mental Development Index and the Bayley Psychomotor Development Index.

A study conducted at the Mount Sinai Medical Center showed clearly that both the brain and the nervous system were affected by Chlorpyrifos. There was also a body burden study done by the CDC and in this, they did a urine test on all those they believed to have been affected and they found the residual presence of the chemical. Air tests both in California and Washington have not shown up a very high presence in the air but people living there seem to have higher than desired levels in their body.

How do you know if the level of Chlorpyrifos is higher than the desired limits in your body? There are general tests that are used to measure the presence of groups of insecticides and this particular test measures the enzyme in the blood known as acetylcholinesterase. Checking the urine for a particular metabolite is also done and a positive test result could mean your levels of Chlorpyrifos are high enough to case a health concern.