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Title: Exposure opportunities of families of farmer pesticide applicators.
Authors: Gladen BC,  Sandler DP,  Zahm SH,  Kamel F,  Rowland AS,  Alavanja MC
Journal: Am J Ind Med
Date: 1998 Dec
Branches: OD, OEEB
PubMed ID: 9816416
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Families of farmer pesticide applicators have unusual opportunities for exposure, directly or indirectly, to pesticides. These exposures are not well characterized. METHODS: Subjects were 26,793 licensed private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study, a cohort study being conducted in Iowa and North Carolina. Questionnaires were completed by the applicators and their spouses. RESULTS: Many indirect exposure opportunities exist; for example, 21% of homes are within 50 yards of pesticide mixing areas, 27% of applicators store pesticides in their homes, and 94% of clothing worn for pesticide work is washed in the same machine as other laundry. Direct exposure opportunities also occur; for example, 51% of wives of applicators worked in the fields in the last growing season, 40% of wives have ever mixed or applied pesticides, and over half of children aged 11 or more do farm chores. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The extent of the opportunities for exposure of family members of farmer pesticide applicators makes studies of their health important.