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||Evaluation of Mexican American migrant farmworker work practices and organochlorine pesticide metabolites.
||Hernández-Valero MA, Bondy ML, Spitz MR, Zahm SH
||Am J Ind Med
||BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies often must rely upon questionnaire data to assess past exposures. The ability of questionnaires to rank migrant farmworkers according to past pesticide exposure is not known. METHODS: We conducted a pilot feasibility study to measure a panel of 21 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and correlate levels with reported occupational exposures in 26 Mexican-American migrant farmworkers in Baytown, Texas. The Migrant Farmworker Questionnaire developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was administered and each participant donated a blood sample. Three OCPs [mean (ppb) levels: mirex 1.8, DDT 1.0, and trans-nonachlor 0.7] were detected despite the fact that these chemicals have been banned in the US for many years, and the detected levels were far higher than the standard provided by the referent laboratory. Work clothes, protective attire, and self-reported pesticide exposures were significant predictors of OCP exposure. Similarly, personal hygiene, length of employment, and number of duties also predicted OCP exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that data obtained from standardized questionnaires may be reasonable indicators of occupational exposure when biomarker data are not available.