249585 Pesticide knowledge among indigenous farmworkers

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:40 PM

Nargess Shadbeh, JD , Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR
Linda A. McCauley, PhD , School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Julie Samples, JD , Indigenous Farmworker Project, Oregon Law Center, Hillsboro, OR
Virginia Ruiz, JD , Farmworker Justice, Washington, DC
Melinda Higgins, PhD , School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
A significant portion of farmworkers in the US speak indigenous languages as their primary language. In Oregon, as much as 40% of the total farmworker population in labor intensive crops is composed of indigenous people, but pesticide safety training (when provided), is in Spanish and/or English, which many indigenous people do not completely understand. This insufficient training puts them at higher risk for pesticide exposure and its associated health effects. As part of a community-based participatory research project we recruited 62 nursery workers who self-reported as indigenous and randomly assigned them to a training intervention. Pesticide safety training was provided by community promotoras who spoke indigenous languages to the intervention group (n = 30) and their knowledge scores were compared to the scores of 32 indigenous workers who did not receive the specialized training. The intervention group also received follow-up by the promotoras to answer any questions they might have. Post-training scores were obtained after the baseline testing. At baseline, knowledge scores of both the control and the intervention groups did not differ significantly. Only 37.5% of the control group and 56.7% of the intervention group reported prior pesticide training. After the pesticide training, using a pairwise comparison, the intervention group showed a significant difference from baseline to post (p=0.050) while the control group did not (0.391). Over 50% of the intervention group improved their knowledge scores as a result of the training by the promotoras. These initial results indicate the benefit of receiving pesticide training in one's primary language.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify at least three linguistic, cultural, or socioeconomic characteristics common to indigenous farmworkers. 2) Name at least two reasons indigenous farmworkers may be at a higher risk for pesticide exposure than their Latino counterparts. 3) Analyze strategies to improve the efficacy of pesticide safety training for indigenous farmworkers.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Pesticide Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on the study to be discussed. I am the manager of a program that provides occupational health and safety education to farmworkers.
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.