Background biomonitoring of residue levels of 137 pesticides in the blood plasma of the general population in Beijing

  • Jiaxin Li
  • Pengsi Wang
  • Shangmei Shi
  • Jian Xue


Due to the widespread use of pesticides, human exposure to pesticides is possible and can potentially cause adverse impacts on public health. We measured 137 pesticides including organophosphorus, organochlorine, pyrethroid and carbamate pesticides together with various herbicides in 100 human blood samples collected from the general population in Beijing. The samples were analysed by triple quadrupole tandem gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In total, 24 organochlorine pesticides, 5 pyrethroid pesticides and 6 organophosphorus pesticides were detected. The detection rates of HCB, α-HCH, β-HCH, γ-HCH, p,p′-DDE and quintozene were 99, 96, 74, 72, 96 and 95%, respectively. No statistically significant gender difference in the blood concentrations of the pesticides was found. Consistent with the trend of the increasing β-HCH, p,p′-DDE and quintozene concentrations with age, a strong positive correlation between the age and concentrations of β-BHC, p,p′-DDE and quintozene was observed.


Human blood Pesticide General population GC-MS/MS 



Organochlorine pesticide


Organophosphorus pesticide


Pyrethroid pesticide


Gas chromatography


Mass spectroscopy


Limit of detection


Limit of quantification



We thank Dr. Wu Wei who works at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital for providing us with the blood samples. Gratitude is also expressed to all the donors who collaborated with the study and provided blood samples.


This study was funded by the China Food and Drug Administration; the Item Number was ZG2016–2.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval for this study was granted by The Ethics Committee of the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiaxin Li
    • 1
  • Pengsi Wang
    • 1
  • Shangmei Shi
    • 2
  • Jian Xue
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medicinal Plant DevelopmentChinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chinese Pharmacopoeia CommissionBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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