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Agricultural Health Study/Pesticide Exposure Study: Study Design and Preliminary Biomarker Results

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Abstract: The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a collaborative effort between the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to quantify cancer and non-cancer health risks in the agricultural community and to study the relationship between agricultural exposures and disease.

The AHS is a large prospective cohort study being performed in the states of Iowa and North Carolina in the United States of America. Enrollment of 52,395 private pesticide applicators, 37,347 spouses of private applicators, and 4,916 commercial pesticide applicators was completed in December 1997. Pesticide applicators completed a study questionnaire that gathered demographic information, pesticide use information, crop and livestock information, application methods, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and dietary and lifestyle information. Information derived from study questionnaires is used to classify applicator exposures to agricultural chemicals for subsequent investigation of associations between exposure and specific diseases. Algorithms have been developed for assigning applicator pesticide exposure intensity levels from questionnaire data. Exposure intensity scores are calculated using literature-derived scores for different application methods, uses of personal protective equipment, chemical handling, equipment repair, equipment washing, and personal hygiene.

The U.S. EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory is conducting the AHS Pesticide Exposure Study (AHS/PES) to measure exposures resulting from the agricultural use of 2,4-D and chlorpyrifos for a subset of applicators in the AHS cohort. Measurement results will be used to assess questionnaire-based exposure classification algorithms.

This work has been funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Contracts 68-D99-011 and 68-D99-012, and through Interagency Agreement DW-75-93912801-0. It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

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Citation:Thomas, K. W., L. S. Sheldon, D. Sandler, M. Dosemeci, and M. Alavanja. Agricultural Health Study/Pesticide Exposure Study: Study Design and Preliminary Biomarker Results. Presented at 2002 International State of Science Symposium on Agricultural Exposures and Cancer, Oxford, United Kingdom, November 19-22, 2002.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Exposure Measurements & Analysis Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 11/19/2002
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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