Herbicide biomonitoring in agricultural workers in Valle del Mayo, Sonora Mexico

Ana Paola Balderrama-Carmona*, Melissa Valenzuela-Rincón, Luis Alberto Zamora-Álvarez, Norma Patricia Adan-Bante, Luis Alonso Leyva-Soto, Norma Patricia Silva-Beltrán, Edgar Felipe Morán-Palacio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Valle del Mayo is an important agricultural area at the northwest of Mexico where up to 20,000 L of a mix composed of glyphosate and tordon is used in drains and canals. This study was carried out in order to evaluate the cellular damage caused by glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), and picloram in agricultural workers. Biomonitoring was performed through the quantification of herbicides in urine using HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) to then evaluate the cellular damage in exposed people by means of an evaluation of micronuclei and cellular proliferation in lymphocyte cultures. The urine samples (n = 30) have shown a concentration of up to 10.25 μg/L of picloram and 2.23 μg/L of AMPA; no positive samples for glyphosate were reported. The calculation of the external dose reveals that agricultural workers ingest up to 146 mg/kg/day; however, this concentration does not surpass the limits that are allowed internationally. As for the results for the micronuclei test, 53% of the workers showed cellular damage, and the nuclear division index test reported that there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the exposed and the control population, which indicated that the exposure time to pesticides in the people of Valle del Mayo can induce alterations which can cause chronic damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28480-28489
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • AMPA
  • Cellular damage
  • Glyphosate
  • Herbicide pollution
  • Occupational health
  • Picloram
  • Urine


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