Breana Bennett

Project title: Characterizing the Neurodevelopmental Pesticide Exposome in an Agricultural Children’s Cohort

Degree: MS (Thesis) | Program: Environmental Toxicology (Tox) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2017 | Faculty advisor: Elaine M. Faustman


In Washington State, apples are the number one commodity produced in the $49 billion food and agriculture industry. Apple growers often rely on pesticides to control insect, plant, and fungal pests. Many of these pesticides have known and well characterized health effects, including several that are known neurotoxicants. Occupational exposure to these pesticides is especially concerning given that many farmworkers carry pesticide residues home and can subsequently expose their children. With the multiple pesticides that farmworkers and their children are exposed to, it is valuable to study the pesticide “exposome,” which accounts for environmental exposures across the lifespan. This thesis uses an exposome framework to study how pesticide exposure changed in a children’s agricultural cohort between 2005 and 2011. The specific aims are to: 1. broadly evaluate how the pesticide exposome changed over the study period, and 2. examine how the neurodevelopmental pesticide exposome changed over the study period. Additionally, this work will consider the impact of changing regulations on the pesticide exposome.