Using Life History Calendars to Estimate in Utero and Early Life Pesticide Exposure of Latinx Children in Farmworker Families

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 16;17(10):3478. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103478.


(1) Background: Early life exposure to neurotoxic chemicals can have later impacts on child health. Most research designs must assume that current exposure is similar to past. Life history calendar methods can help to provide data on early life exposure. (2) Methods: Life history calendars were completed by mothers of 8-year-old children from Latinx farmworker and non-farmworker families (n = 73 and 65, respectively). Measures were created of months exposure through living adjacent to farm fields and having household members who worked in jobs exposing them to toxic chemicals. Data were divided into time periods of in utero, early childhood (birth-35 months) and later childhood (36-96 months). Cluster analysis compared the measures for children from farmworker and non-farmworker parents. (3) Results: Although, as a group, children from farmworker families have greater lifetime months of probable exposure to pesticides than children in non-farmworker families, cluster analysis reveals groups of children who do not follow that pattern. (4) Conclusions: The life history calendar is a technique for obtaining data on early life toxic chemical exposure that may help assign children to proper exposure groups. Conducting secondary analyses using such information can help to clarify the association of exposures to health outcomes.

Keywords: Latino/Hispanic; agricultural health; exposure assessment; health disparities; migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Farmers*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pesticides*


  • Pesticides