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An Updated Algorithm for Estimation of Pesticide Exposure Intensity in the Agricultural Health Study

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Author(s): Joseph Coble | Kent W. Thomas | Cynthia J. Hines | Jane A. Hoppin | Mustafa Dosemeci | Brian Curwin | Jay H. Lubin | Laura E. Beane Freeman | Aaron Blair | Dale P. Sandler | Michael C. R. Alavanja

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 8;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 4608;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: pesticides | exposure algorithm | epidemiology | 2 | 4-D | chlorpyrifos | captan

ABSTRACT
An algorithm developed to estimate pesticide exposure intensity for use in epidemiologic analyses was revised based on data from two exposure monitoring studies. In the first study, we estimated relative exposure intensity based on the results of measurements taken during the application of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) (n = 88) and the insecticide chlorpyrifos (n = 17). Modifications to the algorithm weighting factors were based on geometric means (GM) of post-application urine concentrations for applicators grouped by application method and use of chemically-resistant (CR) gloves. Measurement data from a second study were also used to evaluate relative exposure levels associated with airblast as compared to hand spray application methods. Algorithm modifications included an increase in the exposure reduction factor for use of CR gloves from 40% to 60%, an increase in the application method weight for boom spray relative to in-furrow and for air blast relative to hand spray, and a decrease in the weight for mixing relative to the new weights assigned for application methods. The weighting factors for the revised algorithm now incorporate exposure measurements taken on Agricultural Health Study (AHS) participants for the application methods and personal protective equipment (PPE) commonly reported by study participants.
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