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Reducing the Take-Home Pathway of Pesticide Exposure: Behavioral Outcomes From the Para Niños Saludables Study

Strong, Larkin L. PhD, MPH; Thompson, Beti PhD; Koepsell, Thomas D. MD, MPH; Meischke, Hendrika PhD, MPH; Coronado, Gloria D. PhD, MS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 8 - p 922-933
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181ad4995
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a community intervention in promoting adoption of behaviors to reduce the take-home pathway of pesticide exposure in farmworker households.

Methods: Using two cross-sectional samples of farmworker households in 11 intervention and 12 comparison communities in Washington State, we examined whether differences over time in reported pesticide safety practices varied by community intervention status.

Results: Pesticide safety practices increased in both intervention and comparison communities over time. Changes were significantly greater in intervention communities for removing work shoes before entering the home (P = 0.003) and marginally significantly greater for changing out of work clothes within 1 hour of arriving home (P = 0.05).

Conclusions: The intervention was associated with modest effects in certain behaviors among farmworkers. Further research is needed to identify successful strategies for reducing the take-home pathway of pesticide exposure.

From the Department of Epidemiology (Dr Strong), University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex; Cancer Prevention Research Program (Dr Thompson, Dr Coronado), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash; Department of Health Services (Dr Thompson, Dr Koepsell, Dr Meischke); and Department of Epidemiology (Dr Koepsell, Dr Coronado), School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

This work was conducted while the author Larkin L. Strong, PhD, MPH was at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of WA and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agencies.

Address correspondence to: Larkin L. Strong, PhD, MPH, Epidemiology, Unit 1340, PO Box 301439, Houston, TX 77230-1439; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine