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Pesticide Use and Practices in an Iowa Farm Family Pesticide Exposure Study
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 8(4): 423-433 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10222) @2002
Authors: B. Curwin, W. Sanderson, S. Reynolds, M. Hein, M. Alavanja
Keywords: Pesticides, Agriculture, Exposure factors, PPE
Residents of Iowa were enrolled in a study investigating differences in pesticide contamination and exposure factors between 25 farm homes and 25 nonfarm homes. The target pesticides investigated were atrazine, metolachlor, acetochlor, alachlor, 2,4D, glyphosate, and chlorpyrifos; all were applied to either corn or soybean crops. A questionnaire was administered to all participants to determine residential pesticide use in and around the home. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to the farmers to determine the agricultural pesticides they used on the farm and their application practices. Nonagricultural pesticides were used more in and around farm homes than nonfarm homes. Atrazine was the agricultural pesticide used most by farmers. Most farmers applied pesticides themselves but only 10 (59%) used tractors with enclosed cabs, and they typically wore little personal protective equipment (PPE). On almost every farm, more than one agricultural pesticide was applied. Corn was grown by 23 (92%) farmers and soybeans by 12 (48%) farmers. Of these, 10 (40%) grew both soybeans and corn, with only 2 (8%) growing only soybeans and 13 (52%) growing only corn. The majority of farmers changed from their work clothes and shoes in the home, and when they changed outside or in the garage, they usually brought their clothes and shoes inside. Applying pesticides using tractors with open cabs, not wearing PPE, and changing from work clothes in the home may increase pesticide exposure and contamination. Almost half of the 66 farm children less than 16 years of age were engaged in some form of farm chores, with 6 (9%) potentially directly exposed to pesticides, while only 2 (4%) of the 52 nonfarm children less than 16 years of age had farm chores, and none were directly exposed to pesticides. Farm homes may be contaminated with pesticides in several ways, resulting in potentially more contamination than nonfarm homes, and farm children may be directly exposed to pesticides through farm chores involving pesticides. In addition to providing a description of pesticide use, the data presented here will be useful in evaluating potential contributing factors to household pesticide contamination and family exposure.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)