Perspectives of mothers in farmworker households on reducing the take-home pathway of pesticide exposure.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education, Volume 36, Issue 5, p.915-29 (2009)


2009, Adult, Agriculture, Center-Authored Paper, Family Health, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Middle Aged, Mothers, Occupational Exposure, Parent-Child Relations, Pesticides, Public Health Sciences Division, Questionnaires, Safety, Washington, Young Adult


Farmworkers carry pesticide residue home on their clothing, boots, and skin, placing other household members at risk, particularly children. Specific precautions are recommended to reduce this take-home pathway, yet few studies have examined the perspectives of farmworkers and other household members regarding these behaviors and the reasons for or against adoption. The authors conducted semistructured interviews with 37 Mexican/Mexican-American women in farmworker households to explore the family and cultural context in which pesticide safety practices are performed and to identify factors that facilitate or hinder their adoption. Whereas women could describe the take-home pathway, they were less able to connect it with their family's susceptibility to pesticide exposure. Women experienced difficulty integrating the prevention behaviors into their everyday lives because of competing responsibilities, conflicts with their husbands' intentions and with cultural health beliefs, perceived lack of control, and community barriers that interfered with women's motivations. Implications for practice are discussed.