Characteristics of persons who self-reported a high pesticide exposure event in the Agricultural Health Study

Environ Res. 1999 Feb;80(2 Pt 1):180-6. doi: 10.1006/enrs.1998.3887.


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 using any pesticide which caused an unusually high 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agriculture*
  • Bias
  • Cohort Studies
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pesticides*
  • Professional Competence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors


  • Pesticides