Exposure to chemical mixtures in Mexican children: High-risk scenarios Article uri icon


  • In developing countries, the management of environmental toxicants is inadequate, thus, humans may be exposed to levels higher than normal levels (background levels). Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the exposure level of Mexican children to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [using 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) as exposure biomarker] and to assess the percentage of children exposed to these four compounds at concentrations higher than normal in each community studied. We performed random sampling in eight communities in Mexico (five communities in Chiapas State and three communities in San Luis Potosi State). DDT and DDE were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the quantification of lead in blood was performed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and 1-OHP analyses were performed using HPLC with a fluorescence detector. Elevated DDT, DDE, and 1-OHP levels were found in children living in the indigenous communities of Chiapas State, while higher blood lead levels were found in two communities in San Luis Potosí. Approximately 30 %25 of children living in Chiapas were exposed to all four compounds at concentrations above the guidelines for each compound, whereas 48 %25 of children studied were exposed to all four contaminants at concentrations higher than normal in a community in San Luis Potosí State. As expected, our results showed that in hot spots, children are exposed to levels higher than normal. Therefore, child environmental health programs are urgently needed. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

publication date

  • 2013-01-01