Observed and self-reported pesticide protective behaviors of Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Agricultural pesticide exposure has potential adverse health effects for farmworkers that may be reduced by pesticide protective behaviors (PPBs). The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requires PPBs be taught to farmworkers prior to field work. Studies to date have not utilized observational methods to evaluate the degree to which PPBs are practiced by Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States. The purpose of this study was to describe, compare, and contrast observed and self-reported PPBs used by Latino farmworkers; both PPBs that the WPS requires be taught and other PPBs were included. Observed and self-reported data were collected from 71 Latino farmworkers during the 2014 tobacco growing season in North Carolina. Participants were consistent in reporting and using long pants and closed shoes in the field most of the time. In addition, gloves, hats/bandanas, and water-resistant outerwear were frequently observed, although they are not required to be taught by the WPS. Farmworkers reported more long-sleeve (p=.028) and glove use (p=.000) than what was observed. It was uncommon to observe washing behavior before eating or drinking, even when washing supplies were available. Washing behaviors were significantly overreported for hand (p=.000; p=.000) and face (p=.000; p=.058) washing before eating and drinking in the field. This study documents that protective clothing behaviors that the WPS requires be taught, plus a few others are commonly practiced by Latino migrant and seasonal farmworkers, but washing behaviors in the field are not. Targeted strategies to improve washing behaviors in the field are needed.
Walton, AL; LePrevost, C; Wong, B; Linnan, L; Sanchez-Birkhead, A; Mooney, K
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