Characteristics of Persons Who Self-Reported a High Pesticide Exposure Event in the Agricultural Health Study

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Monday, December 15, 1997
Michael C.R. Alavanja
Dale P. Sandler
Cheryl J. McDonnell
David T. mage
Burton C. Kross
Andrew S. Rowland
Aaron Blair
Journal Title: 
Environmental Research

Characteristics of persons who report high pesticide exposure events (HPEE) were studied in a large cohort of licensed pesticide applicators from Iowa and North Carolina who enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study between December 1993 and December 1995. Fourteen percent reported having “an incident or experience while usinganypesticide which caused anunusuallyhigh personal exposure.” After taking into account total number of applications made and education, females (OR=0.76), applicators from NC (OR=0.65), and privately licensed applicators (OR=0.65) were less likely to have reported an HPEE. Work practices more common among both private and commercial applicators with an HPEE included delay in changing clothing or washing after pesticide application, mixing pesticide application clothing with the family wash, washing up inside the house after application, applying pesticides within 50 yards of their well, and storing pesticides in the home. Job characteristics more common among those with an HPEE included self-repair of application equipment and first pesticide use more than 10 years in the past. These job characteristics explained much of the difference in reported HPEE between males and females, but not between IA and NC subjects or between commercial or private applicators.


Alavanja MC, Sandler DP, McDonnell CJ, Mage DT, Kross BC, Rowland AS, Blair A. Characteristics of persons who self-reported a high pesticide exposure event in the Agricultural Health Study. Environmental research. 1999 Feb 1;80(2):180-6. DOI: 10.1006/enrs.1998.3887