Benefits, Facilitators, Barriers, and Strategies to Improve Pesticide Protective Behaviors: Insights from Farmworkers in North Carolina Tobacco Fields
BACKGROUND Farmworkers and their families are exposed to pesticides through multiple pathways. Few studies have examined the frequency with which farmworkers engage in pesticide safety practices and the factors associated with their adoption. METHODS Using a large sample of farmworkers (n = 554), we evaluated relationships between pesticide safety behaviors and farmworkers' beliefs, training history, handling of pesticides at work, perceived occupational exposure, and employers' provision of personal protective equipment. RESULTS Performing behaviors at work was determined largely by whether personal protective equipment was provided. For home behaviors, female gender, living in a labor camp, being trained in the last 5 years, handling pesticides directly, and not perceiving organizational barriers to protecting oneself were associated with taking more precautions. CONCLUSIONS These findings call for interventions that involve and engage multiple stakeholders to increase adoption of pesticide safety behaviors and reduce pesticide exposure in farmworkers.