207160 Agricultural Pesticide Use in the Home: A Community-based Education Program to Promote Safe Pest Control Practices in Urban Neighborhoods in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:50 PM

Amy K. Liebman, MA, MPA , Migrant Clinicians Network, Quantico, MD
Alma Rosa Galvan , Consultant, El Paso, TX
Patricia M. Juárez-Carrillo, PhD, MPH , Center for Environmental Resource Management, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Mexico has experienced unprecedented rural to urban to migration as the effects of rapid industrialization and globalization have made it virtually impossible for families to survive from subsistence farming. The border city of Ciudad Juarez, drew rural workers by the thousands. Making less than $10/day, workers live in unincorporated neighborhoods that often lack running water and sewerage systems and suffer numerous vermin infestations. Residents commonly use “polvo de avion” (airplane dust), a highly toxic methyl parathion-based powder to kill cockroaches. Public campaigns to warn residents about “polvo de avion” were largely ineffective.

From 2006-2008 four community-based organizations partnered to assess the extent of the problem and develop effective educational interventions. They conducted extensive in-home surveys with 760 households and found that 48% used “polvo de avion”. The CBOs piloted interventions that trained lay health workers to educate residents to reduce the use of methyl parathion and promote safer pest control methods and waste management practices. The use of lay health workers incorporates a long tradition of educacion popular (non-formal participatory education) in Mexico. Several educational materials including comic books that offer an interesting story along with information about the health effects of pesticides and ways to reduce exposure, were developed and used. 640 households participated in interventions. This presentation will share the results of the needs assessment and the evaluation of the intervention which measured changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviors, including the percent change in the number of families using less toxic pest control products.

Learning Objectives:
Identify an effective community based model to educate about safe pest control practices.

Keywords: Pesticides, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Amy K. Liebman, MPA, MA works nationally with the Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) where she directs their comprehensive environmental and occupational health programs that aim to reduce migrant workers’ risks associated with environmental and occupational hazards by improving clinical knowledge and practice. Additionally, she has been a national leader in bringing the promotora de salud (lay health worker) model to environmental and occupational health efforts to educate communities about pesticides and ways to reduce their risks from pesticide exposure. MCN and Ms. Liebman received the EPA Regional Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award for their innovate programs to help farmworker families minimize their exposures to environmental hazards. Prior to her current position, she was the Director of Outreach and Policy for the Center for Environmental Resource Management in El Paso, Texas, where she directed several programs on both sides of the US-Mexico Border. Her most noted program was Agua Para Beber or Water to Drink, a community-based hygiene education program that reached thousands of families living without water. It was the first program to successfully utilize the promotera de salud model in a community-based environmental health initiative in the United States. It was awarded the 2000 Texas Environmental Excellence Award. Ms. Liebman has been the principal investigator and project manager of numerous government and privately sponsored projects. She has authored articles, bilingual training manuals and other educational materials dealing with environmental and occupational health and migrants.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.