Assessment of DDT and DDE levels in soil, dust, and blood samples from Chihuahua, Mexico Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to assess levels of DDT and DDE in two environmental matrices (soil and dust) and to investigate the blood levels of these insecticides in exposed children living in a north Mexican state (Chihuahua) where DDT was sprayed several years ago during (1) health campaigns for the control of malaria and (2) agricultural activities. DDT and DDE were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. In general, lower levels were found in household outdoor samples. The levels in outdoor samples ranged from 0.001 to 0.788 mg/kg for DDT and from 0.001 to 0.642 mg/kg for DDE. The levels in indoor samples ranged from 0.001 to 15.47 mg/kg for DDT and from 0.001 to 1.063 mg/kg for DDE. Similar results to those found in indoor soil were found in dust, in which the levels ranged from 0.001 to 95.87 mg/kg for DDT and from 0.001 to 0.797 mg/kg for DDE. Moreover, blood levels showed that all of the communities studied had been exposed to DDT and/or DDE, indicating a general past or present exposure to DDT. It is important to note that the quotient DDT/DDE in all matrices was always >1. Whether the people living in our study area are at risk is an issue that deserves further analysis. However, applying precautionary principles, it is important to initiate a risk-reduction program to decrease exposure to DDT and its metabolites in people living in this area. © 2011 Springer Science%2bBusiness Media, LLC.

publication date

  • 2012-01-01