• Elements to increase translation in pyrethroid epidemiology research: A review

      Burns, Carol J.; LaKind, Judy S. (Elsevier, 2022-03-20)
      Pyrethroid insecticides have been the subject of numerous epidemiology studies in the past two decades. We examined the pyrethroids epidemiology literature published between 2016 and 2021. Our objective with this exercise was to inform interested readers regarding information on methodological elements that strengthen a study's use for translation (i.e., use in risk assessment) and to describe aspects of future research methods that could improve utility for decision-making. We focused on the following elements: (i) study design that provided evidence that pyrethroid exposure preceded the outcome, (ii) evidence that the method used for exposure characterization was reliable and sufficiently accurate for the intended purpose, and (iii) use of a robust approach for outcome ascertainment. For each of the 74 studies identified via the literature search, we categorized the methodological elements as Acceptable or Supplemental. A study with three Acceptable elements was considered Relevant for risk assessment purposes. Based on our evaluative approach, 18 (24%) of the 74 publications were considered to be Relevant. These publications were categorized as Acceptable for all three elements assessed: confirmed exposure (N = 24), confirmed outcome (N = 64), exposure preceded the outcome (N = 44). Three of these studies were birth cohorts. There were 15 Relevant publications of adults which included 10 Agricultural Health Study cohort publications of self-reported permethrin. Overall, the majority of the reviewed studies used methods that did not permit a determination that pyrethroid exposure preceded the outcome, and/or did not utilize robust methods for exposure assessment and outcome ascertainment. There is an opportunity for investigators and research sponsors to build on the studies reviewed here and to incorporate more translational approaches to studying exposure/outcome associations related to pesticides and other chemicals. © 2021 The Authors
    • How many urine samples are needed to accurately assess exposure to non-persistent chemicals? The biomarker reliability assessment tool (brat) for scientists, research sponsors, and risk managers

      Verner, M.-A.; Salame, H.; Housand, C.; Birnbaum, L.S.; Bouchard, M.F.; Chevrier, J.; Aylward, L.L.; Naiman, D.Q.; Lakind, J.S. (MDPI AG, 2020-12-06)
      In epidemiologic and exposure research, biomonitoring is often used as the basis for assessing human exposure to environmental chemicals. Studies frequently rely on a single urinary measurement per participant to assess exposure to non-persistent chemicals. However, there is a growing consensus that single urine samples may be insufficient for adequately estimating exposure. The question then arises: how many samples would be needed for optimal characterization of exposure? To help researchers answer this question, we developed a tool called the Biomarker Reliability Assessment Tool (BRAT). The BRAT is based on pharmacokinetic modeling simulations, is freely available, and is designed to help researchers determine the approximate number of urine samples needed to optimize exposure assessment. The BRAT performs Monte Carlo simulations of exposure to estimate internal levels and resulting urinary concentrations in individuals from a population based on user-specified inputs (e.g., biological half-life, within-and between-person variability in exposure). The BRAT evaluates—through linear regression and quantile classification—the precision/accuracy of the estimation of internal levels depending on the number of urine samples. This tool should guide researchers towards more robust biomonitoring and improved exposure classification in epidemiologic and exposure research, which should in turn improve the translation of that research into decision-making. Copyright 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.