WRITER: LESLIE LOVELESS
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: March 10, 2000
UI researchers to study pesticide exposure in farm
IOWA CITY, Iowa As part of a national study,
researchers are working to learn more about farmers' exposure to pesticides.
The study will begin this spring in 12 Iowa counties. Local farmers who apply
pesticides to crops may be asked to enroll in the study, which UI scientists
say will help provide important information about keeping farm families healthy
when pesticides are used.
Researchers will select potential participants based
on the types of products used and their application methods. Iowa counties
included in the study are Cedar, Clinton, Grundy, Henry, Jackson, Jasper,
Jones, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Tama and Washington.
Farmers who enroll in the study will be asked to allow
UI researchers to observe their usual pesticide handling and application procedures
for one day. Farmers also will be asked to provide non-invasive samples (such
as dermal patch, hand wipe and urine samples) so that researchers can measure
their exposure to the pesticide. Spouses and children may be asked to provide
urine samples, as well. The names of all participants will be kept confidential.
Individuals enrolled in the study will receive a small cash incentive for
This study builds on the Agricultural Health Study
under way in Iowa and North Carolina, which is intended to evaluate relationships
between exposures of pesticide applicators and their health status. Of the
more than 90,000 participants in the Agricultural Health Study, more than
50,000 are from Iowa. A subset of these participants will be asked to take
part in this exposure measurement study. Measurement results will help researchers
assess and improve methods used to classify farmers' exposure to pesticides.
"Our goal is to measure farmers' exposure to pesticides
without much interruption of their usual daily activities and without risk
or discomfort when collecting samples," said Steve Reynolds, Ph.D., UI associate
professor of occupational and environmental health. "With the generous cooperation
of some local farm families, we may be able to learn more about how pesticide
exposure occurs, and what we can do to prevent it."
The Agricultural Health Study is a collaborative effort
of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute,
the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National
Exposure Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, contact Reynolds at (319) 335-4212.