Online Program

Interventions and Prevention of Occupational Contact Dermatitis as a Result of Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure in US Agricultural Workers

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kevin Moore, BA, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, CPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Background: With the rise in industrialized farming and pesticide use, occupational dermatitis as a result of pesticide exposure poses a threat to agricultural worker health and productivity. Contact dermatitis is the most common reportable occupational disease in the United States. In the agriculture industry, dermal exposure is the most common site for pesticide poisoning, and the development of occupational contact dermatitis leads to decreased productivity and long-term impairment.

Methods: A review of the published and grey literature examining occupational dermatitis due to organophosphate pesticide exposure was performed. Haddon’s Matrix of injury epidemiology and prevention was used to categorize risk factors by time and by actor (agricultural worker, pesticide, environment).

Results: Using the Haddon’s Matrix, 31 risk factors were identified. Successful prevention strategy components include mandated regulations for personal protective equipment and re-entry intervals; multi-lingual education materials and required safety trainings; increased access to medical care and the use of teledermatology consults; and the use of pre-diluted and aerosolized pesticides. Organophosphate pesticide exposure and the subsequent development of occupational dermatitis have presented in multiple populations, geographic locations, and sectors of the agricultural industry. 

Conclusion: Effective strategies to reduce occupational dermatitis morbidity can be adapted and implemented. Future interventions should focus on risk reduction at the pesticide and environment level. Research on threshold exposure levels as well as the effects of long-term exposure is necessary. Pesticide-related occupational dermatitis proves to be a preventable injury, and the agricultural industry should establish preventative measures to protect the workforce today and for the future.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify major risk factors in the development of occupational dermatitis. Discuss prevention strategies to minimize the risks of occupational dermatitis in US agricultural workers.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am 2nd-year medical student who does research in public health disparities and occupational health.
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.