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Health Risk Characterization of Chlorpyrifos Using Epidemiological Dose-Response Data and Probabilistic Techniques: A Case Study with Rice Farmers in Vietnam


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Various methods for risk characterization have been developed using probabilistic approaches. Data on Vietnamese farmers are available for the comparison of outcomes for risk characterization using different probabilistic methods. This article addresses the health risk characterization of chlorpyrifos using epidemiological dose-response data and probabilistic techniques obtained from a case study with rice farmers in Vietnam. Urine samples were collected from farmers and analyzed for trichloropyridinol (TCP), which was converted into absorbed daily dose of chlorpyrifos. Adverse health response doses due to chlorpyrifos exposure were collected from epidemiological studies to develop dose-adverse health response relationships. The health risk of chlorpyrifos was quantified using hazard quotient (HQ), Monte Carlo simulation (MCS), and overall risk probability (ORP) methods. With baseline (prior to pesticide spraying) and lifetime exposure levels (over a lifetime of pesticide spraying events), the HQ ranged from 0.06 to 7.1. The MCS method indicated less than 0.05% of the population would be affected while the ORP method indicated that less than 1.5% of the population would be adversely affected. With postapplication exposure levels, the HQ ranged from 1 to 32.5. The risk calculated by the MCS method was that 29% of the population would be affected, and the risk calculated by ORP method was 33%. The MCS and ORP methods have advantages in risk characterization due to use of the full distribution of data exposure as well as dose response, whereas HQ methods only used the exposure data distribution. These evaluations indicated that single-event spraying is likely to have adverse effects on Vietnamese rice farmers.