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The objectives of this study were to (1) obtain data on attitudes and practices of California pesticide applicators and household members responsible for the care of pesticide-soiled clothing, (2) identify relationships between attitudes and practices, and (3) determine if any group might be especially at risk. A survey of growers and commercial applicators suggested that the growers were the higher-risk group; not only did they use more hazardous chemicals, but they also were less likely to agree with the need for certain precautions. In general, users of more toxic chemicals indicated they recognized that fact but appeared to downplay the potential danger. With respect to storage and cleaning of pesticide-soiled clothing, the data indicate that a sizable proportion of the sample stored and washed such clothing with other household garments. This finding is cause for some concern since health problems can develop from secondary exposure to pesticides.
pesticide application, protective clothing, secondary pesticide exposure
Associate professor, University of California, Davis, CA
Owner of a custom knitwear company, Kaye's Babes, Vallejo, CA
Retail store buyer, Pumpkins & Monkeys, Davis, CA