Individual, Work and Organizational Factors
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen
Chapter 9: Pesticide exposure and the health effects among Latino and other farmworkers
Agricultural workers’ exposure to pesticides is a substantial public health and social advocacy issue. The scientific underpinnings of the issue are exceedingly more complex than the simple ideological position that ‘pesticides are poison’. In this chapter the authors elaborate the state of the evidence repository on pesticide exposure among farmworkers and the health-related consequences of that exposure. Then the chapter summarizes the literature on farmworker exposure to pesticides, including both a comparison of exposure among farmworkers relative to non-farmworkers, and studies of within-occupation variability in pesticide exposure. Next, given the complexity of pesticides and human health, the chapter provides a broad overview of evidence linking pesticide exposure to health outcomes. This broad overview is necessarily offset by a clear case study that typifies the debate about the scientific underpinnings of the pesticide–health linkage, and ends with important areas for future research in the field.
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