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Breaking the take home pesticide exposure pathway for agricultural families: workplace predictors of residential contamination.
Fenske-RA; Lu-C; Negrete-M; Galvin-K
Am J Ind Med 2013 Sep; 56(9):1063-1071
Background: Pesticides used in agriculture can be taken into worker homes and pose a potential risk for children and other family members. This study focused on identification of potential intervention points at the workplace. Methods: Workers (N=46) recruited from two tree fruit orchards in Washington State were administered a 63-item pesticide safety questionnaire. Dust was collected from commuter vehicles and worker homes and analyzed for four organophosphorus (OP) pesticides (azinphosmethyl, phosmet, chlorpyrifos, malathion). Results: Geometric mean azinphosmethyl concentrations in dust for three worker groups (16 pesticide handlers, 15 green fruit thinners, 15 organic orchard workers) ranged from 0.027-1.5 microg/g, with levels in vehicle dust higher than in house dust, and levels in house dust from handlers' homes higher than levels from tree fruit thinners' homes. Vehicle and house dust concentrations of azinphosmethyl were highly associated [R(2) = 0.44, P < 0.001]. Significant differences were found across worker groups for availability of laundry facilities, work boot storage, frequency of hand washing, commuter vehicle use, parking location, and safety training. Conclusions These findings support a focus on intervention activities to reduce take home pesticide exposure closer to the source of contamination; specifically, the workplace and vehicles used to travel to the workplace.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-industry; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Toxic-materials; Families; Farmers; Children; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Organo-phosphorus-compounds; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Dust-analysis; Dust-exposure; Dust-particles; Dust-sampling; Environmental-exposure; Manual-materials-handling; Author Keywords: pesticides; residential exposure; dust; para-occupational; take home exposure; workplace; vehicle; workers; applicators; thinners; pesticide handlers
Richard Fenske, PhD, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Box 357234, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA 98195
86-50-0; 732-11-6; 2921-88-2; 121-75-5
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Washington
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division