Lifetime and current pesticide exposure among Latino farmworkers in comparison to other Latino immigrants

Am J Ind Med. 2014 Jul;57(7):776-87. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22324. Epub 2014 Apr 15.


Background: Pesticide exposure poses a health risk for farmworkers. This analysis documents lifetime and current pesticide exposure of North Carolina Latino migrant farmworkers, with comparison to non-farmworker Latino immigrants.

Methods: During May to October 2012, 235 Latino farmworkers and 212 Latino non-farmworkers completed interviews with items to construct measures of lifetime, current residential and occupational pesticide exposure.

Results: Farmworkers experience levels of lifetime and residential pesticide exposure that are consistently greater than among non-farmworkers. Farmworkers report a large number of occupational pesticide exposures. Lifetime exposure and current residential pesticide exposure are related to social determinants. Education is inversely related to lifetime pesticide exposure for farmworkers and non-farmworkers; farmworkers with H-2A visas report greater residential pesticide exposure than those without H-2A visas.

Conclusions: Occupational safety policy needs to consider these patterns of lifetime exposure when setting standards. Health care providers should be aware of the lifetime and current exposure of this vulnerable population.

Keywords: agriculture; minority health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agriculture*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pesticides*
  • Transients and Migrants*


  • Pesticides