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Curl Agricultural Health Lab Researchers Complete Study on Pesticide Exposure and Risk Perceptions Among Men and Women Latinx Farmworkers in Idaho

Dr. Carly Hyland, a former post-doctoral researcher in the School of Public and Population Health (SPPH) and a member of the Curl Agricultural Health Lab, has completed a project to investigate pesticide exposure and risk perceptions among 62 male and female Latinx farmworkers in Idaho.

Latinx farmworkers represent over 80% of the agricultural workforce in the United States, yet most studies on this population focus exclusively on male farmworkers – despite the growing percentage of the United States agricultural workforce that is now female. This pilot study assessed and compared exposure to a range of agricultural pesticides that are commonly used on crops grown in Idaho among male and female Latinx farmworkers, as well as other factors such as perceptions of pesticide risk, availability of properly fitting Personal Protective Equipment, and barriers to increasing protection.

Results from the study found that urine samples collected from the farmworkers contained many different pesticides; main barriers to wearing Personal Protective Equipment are heat and beliefs that it is not important; many farmworkers are worried about pesticide drift and lack of notification when pesticides are sprayed on nearby farms; farmworkers want more interactive and in-person pesticide safety trainings; and current regulations may not address farmworkers’ concerns, even at farms that meet all legal requirements. More information on the study and the results can be found here. The results of the study have also been published and can be viewed here.