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Do Workplace and Home Protective Practices Protect Farm Workers? Findings From the For Healthy Kids Study

Coronado, Gloria D. PhD; Holte, Sarah E. PhD; Vigoren, Eric M. MS; Griffith, William C. PhD; Barr, Dana B. PhD; Faustman, Elaine M. PhD; Thompson, Beti PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 9 - p 1163–1169
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825902f5
Original Articles

Objective: To assess associations of protective workplace and home practices with pesticide exposure levels.

Methods: Using data from orchard workers in the Yakima Valley, Washington, we examined associations of workplace and home protective practices with (1) urinary metabolite concentrations of dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP) in adults and children aged 2 to 6 years and (2) azinphos-methyl levels in house and vehicle dust.

Results: Data were collected from 95 orchard workers and 94 children. Contrary to expectation, adult farm workers who wore boots or washed hands using hand sanitizer had higher concentrations of DMTP than those who did not. Children who attended daycare had higher DMTP concentrations than children who did not.

Conclusions: Few workplace or home practices were associated with pesticide exposure levels; workers who used hand sanitizer had higher concentrations of DMTP, as did children who attended daycare.

From Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (Dr Coronado), Portland, Ore.; Program in Biostatistics and Biomathematics (Dr Holte), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash.; Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (Mr Vigoren and Drs Griffith and Faustman), University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; Cancer Prevention Program (Dr Thompson), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash; and Department of Environmental Health (Dr Barr), Rollins School of Public Health; Atlanta, Ga.

Address correspondence to: Gloria Coronado, PhD, Mitch Greenlick Endowed Scientist for Health Disparities, The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, 3800 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97227 (Gloria.D.Coronado@kpchr.org).

All authors contributed to the study design, analytic approach, and interpretation of results. S.E.H. conducted the statistical analysis. G.D.C. prepared the article. All authors critically reviewed and revised article drafts and approved the final version. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine