Exposure to pesticides is a growing problem in Thailand due to the exponential increase in pesticide importation during the last decade. Despite the increased vulnerability of the developing organism, few studies have evaluated the neurobehavioral effects of pesticide exposure in children. This proposal will build capacity among researchers from the College of Public Health Sciences and Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University for the purpose of evaluating neurobehavioral effects of exposure to organophosphate, pyrethroid, and organochlorine pesticides among rural Thai children. In collaboration with the existing Thai Fogarty International Training and Research in Environmental and Occupational Health (ITREOH) Center, a series of focus groups among faculty and students of the College of Public Health Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine will determine 1) behavioral assessment methods available for use with children, ages 2 to 8 years old and 2) approaches for training students in behavioral assessment methods and field epidemiologic research strategies. Capacity will be enhanced with 1) seminars and experiential training and 2) tuition support plus training in analysis of environmental/biologic samples and behavioral methods in U.S. laboratories for four master's level graduate students. A repeated measures pilot study will be conducted comparing pesticide exposure and acute and chronic behavioral health effects among a group of 6 to 8 year old healthy children from a farming community in Rangsit, Thailand (exposed) and age and gender matched children from non- farming families (control). After a screening physical examination, children will be tested during the hot season when pesticides are applied and during the rainy season (low exposure) to evaluate acute and chronic effects, respectively. Exposure to pesticides will be documented through analysis of hand wipes, water samples, and a suite of urinary metabolites (e.g., DAP) The Behavioral Assessment and Research System will be used to assess motor and cognitive function while a modified version of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment scale will assess the psychosocial environment. Outcome of this pilot study will form the basis of an R01 to evaluate neurobehavioral effects of pesticide exposure among 2 to 8 year old Thai children.

Public Health Relevance

The project will build capacity in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand to evaluate the neurobehavioral consequences of pesticide exposure in children. The use and importation of pesticides has grown exponentially in Thailand without a clear understanding of the exposure and neurobehavioral consequences among children. Because of the unique vulnerability of children to pesticide exposure, the results of this study will be important due to the widespread use of pesticides throughout the world.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP2-B (51))
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Kirshner, Annette G
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University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Fiedler, Nancy; Rohitrattana, Juthasiri; Siriwong, Wattasit et al. (2015) Neurobehavioral effects of exposure to organophosphates and pyrethroid pesticides among Thai children. Neurotoxicology 48:90-9
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Rohitrattana, Juthasiri; Siriwong, Wattasit; Suittiwan, Panrapee et al. (2014) Adaptation of a neurobehavioral test battery for Thai children. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 65:205-12
Rohitrattana, Juthasiri; Siriwong, Wattasit; Tunsaringkarn, Tanasorn et al. (2014) Organophosphate pesticide exposure in school-aged children living in rice and aquacultural farming regions of Thailand. J Agromedicine 19:406-16
Panuwet, Parinya; Siriwong, Wattasit; Prapamontol, Tippawan et al. (2012) Agricultural Pesticide Management in Thailand: Situation and Population Health Risk. Environ Sci Policy 17:72-81