Pesticide safety behaviors in Latino farmworker family households

Am J Ind Med. 2006 Apr;49(4):271-80. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20277.


Background: Studies to assess pesticide exposure of individuals living in agricultural settings suggest that farmworkers create a "take-home" pathway from the fields to the home that increases exposure risk for non-farmworker household members.

Methods: A survey was conducted with 142 Latino women in farmworker family households in North Carolina to identify predictors of adherence to pesticide safety behaviors that may affect take-home exposure risk. Behaviors included changing work clothes before entering the house, storing and washing contaminated work clothes separately from family clothing, and showering upon returning home.

Results: The number of farmworkers in the household was negatively associated with adherence to recommended changing, storing, and showering behaviors. Most workers followed recommended laundry procedures for work clothes.

Conclusions: Results support existing evidence for a take-home pathway for pesticide residues in homes with several farmworkers. Pesticide safety education needs to reinforce behaviors that reduce take-home exposure in farmworker households.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Baths
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Laundering
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Pesticides / toxicity*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safety
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Pesticides