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Boise State researchers study effects of pesticides on Latinx farmworkers in Idaho

A team of researchers from the School of Public Service and the Department of Sociology – Carly Hyland, Alejandra Hernandez, Lisa Meierotto, Rebecca Som Castellano and Cynthia Curl – compared pesticide concentrations in urine among Latinx farmworkers in Southwestern Idaho. The study was funded by the Pacific Northwest Occupational Safety and Health Center and the School of Public Service Research Committee in collaboration with the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils.

The researchers examined associations with the workers’ occupational characteristics, risk perceptions, perceived control and protective behaviors among farm workers. Results showed while both men and women had similar levels of pesticide traces, farmworkers see pesticides as more dangerous to other people than themselves. One of the comparisons revealed women were afflicted by acute poisoning more often. However, women wear more protective equipment and work shorter hours. Findings for men’s opinions and perceptions, as well as protective behaviors, were inconsistent throughout the group of participants.

The research article indicates women might be at risk in the field and future research should explore the topic. For interviews with the research team and a summary of the relevance of this study, watch this news clip: Researchers concerned about pesticide effects on farmworkers.