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Keywords:

  • migrant worker exposure;
  • urinary pesticide metabolites;
  • migrant farmworker housing;
  • housing violations;
  • housing impact on exposure

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this paper is to present and evaluate descriptively bivariate associations between urinary metabolites of pesticides and herbicides and migrant camp conditions, violations, and personal worker behaviors at home for farmworkers who do not apply pesticides.

Methods

We studied 183 migrant farmworker camps in eastern North Carolina in 2010. Data and urine samples were collected from 371 men. Predictor measures included violations in six domains of housing regulations and nonviolation characteristics and personal behaviors that might impact urinary metabolites.

Results

Cockroaches and bathroom violations were predictive of increased exposure to pyrethroids and cyfluthrin/chlorpyrifos, respectively. Changing and storing clothing and shoes in sleeping rooms increased the number of detects for the diazinon metabolite.

Conclusions

Farmworkers had exposures to multiple chemicals. No single housing domain was identified as critical to mitigating housing-related exposure; specific attention should be paid to changing and storing soiled clothing in sleeping rooms, and insect infestations. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:323–337, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.