Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

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In this article we identify factors potentially associated with pesticide exposure among farmworkers, grade the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature for such associations, and propose a minimum set of measures necessary to understand farmworker risk for pesticide exposure. Data sources we reviewed included Medline, Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, PsycINFO, and AGRICOLA databases. Data extraction was restricted to those articles that reported primary data collection and analysis published in 1990 or later. We read and summarized evidence for pesticide exposure associations. For data synthesis, articles were graded by type of evidence for association of risk factor with pesticide exposure as follows: 1 = association demonstrated in farmworkers; 2 = association demonstrated in nonfarmworker sample; 3 = plausible association proposed for farmworkers; or 4 = association plausible but not published for farmworkers. Of more than 80 studies we identified, only a third used environmental or biomarker evidence to document farmworker exposure to pesticides. Summaries of articles were compiled by level of evidence and presented in tabular form. A minimum list of data to be collected in farmworker pesticide studies was derived from these evidence tables. Despite ongoing concern about pesticide exposure of farmworkers and their families, relatively few studies have tried to test directly the association of behavioral and environmental factors with pesticide exposure in this population. Future studies should attempt to use similar behavioral, environmental, and psychosocial measures to build a body of evidence with which to better understand the risk factors for pesticide exposure among farmworkers.

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Environmental Health Perspectives



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Psychology Commons



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