We developed a spatio-temporal model for the Netherlands to estimate environmental exposure to individual agricultural pesticides at the residential address for application in a national case-control study on Parkinson's disease (PD). Data on agricultural land use and pesticide use were combined to estimate environmental exposure to pesticides for the period 1961 onwards. Distance categories of 0-50 m, > 50-100 m, > 100-500 m and > 500-1000 m around residences were considered. For illustration purposes, exposure was estimated for the control population (n = 607) in the PD case-control study. In a small validation effort, model estimates were compared with pesticide measurements in air and precipitation collected at 17 stations in 2000-2001. Estimated exposure prevalence was higher for pesticides used on commonly cultivated (rotating) crops than for pesticides used on fruit and bulbs only. Prevalence increased with increasing distance considered. Moderate-to-high correlations were observed between model estimates (> 100-500 m and > 500-1000 m) and environmental pesticide concentrations measured in 2000-2001. Environmental exposure to individual pesticides can be estimated using relevant spatial and temporal data sets on agricultural land use and pesticide use. Our approach seems to result in accurate estimates of average environmental exposure, although it remains to be investigated to what extent this reflect personal exposure to agricultural pesticides.
advance online publication, 22 March 2017