Residential pesticide usage in older adults residing in Central California

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Aug;8(8):3114-33. doi: 10.3390/ijerph8083114. Epub 2011 Jul 25.


Information on residential pesticide usage and behaviors that may influence pesticide exposure was collected in three population-based studies of older adults residing in the three Central California counties of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare. We present data from participants in the Study of Use of Products and Exposure Related Behaviors (SUPERB) study (N = 153) and from community controls ascertained in two Parkinson's disease studies, the Parkinson's Environment and Gene (PEG) study (N = 359) and The Center for Gene-Environment Studies in Parkinson's Disease (CGEP; N = 297). All participants were interviewed by telephone to obtain information on recent and lifetime indoor and outdoor residential pesticide use. Interviews ascertained type of product used, frequency of use, and behaviors that may influence exposure to pesticides during and after application. Well over half of all participants reported ever using indoor and outdoor pesticides; yet frequency of pesticide use was relatively low, and appeared to increase slightly with age. Few participants engaged in behaviors to protect themselves or family members and limit exposure to pesticides during and after treatment, such as ventilating and cleaning treated areas, or using protective equipment during application. Our findings on frequency of use over lifetime and exposure related behaviors will inform future efforts to develop population pesticide exposure models and risk assessment.

Keywords: exposure-related behavior; lifetime use; older adults; pesticides; residential exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Female
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Insecticides