Constant Exposure to Pesticides Can Cause Change in Oral Microbiome

Pesticide exposure in farmworkers from agricultural communities is associated with changes in the oral microbiome. This is the first study to demonstrate such a correlation in humans. The research is published November 11th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

In the study, the investigators sampled oral swabs from 65 farmworkers and 52 non-farmworker adults from the Yakima Valley (Washington) community agricultural cohort during the spring and summer (2005), when farmworkers can undergo high pesticide exposures while working in recently sprayed orchards, thinning the fruit and pruning; and during winter (2006), when exposures are quite low. Concurrently, they measured blood levels of organophosphate pesticides in the study subjects.

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