Assessment of Pesticide Residues In Farmers' House Dust and Educational Intervention to Improve Pesticide Handling Practices

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2004-12-02

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This study investigated whether pesticide residues occur inside homes of vegetable and small fruit growers, identified pesticide handling practices that could contribute to home contamination, and evaluated the impact of an educational intervention in changing those handling practices. Dust samples were collected from the subjects' homes and analyzed for chlorothalonil. Residues were detected in carpet dust samples (8-277 ng/g), floor wipe samples (0.08-5.1 ug/sq m) and one washing machine sample (1.0 ug/sq m of washing machine). Each subject received an educational intervention consisting of a personalized report noting sites contaminated and providing recommendations of handling practices that would be expected to reduce any residues. Three sequential surveys of Maryland growers provided information regarding handling practices and changes over time. Lessons from this study could be incorporated into pesticide safety education to promote safer pesticide handling.

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