Benefits, Facilitators, Barriers, and Strategies to Improve Pesticide Protective Behaviours: Insights from Farmworkers in North Carolina Tobacco Fields

Pesticide exposure is associated with deleterious health effects. Prior studies suggest Latino farmworkers perceive little control over their occupational health. Using the Health Belief Model as a theoretical guide, the authors explored the perceptions of Latino farmworkers working in tobacco in North Carolina (n = 72) about benefits and facilitators of pesticide protective behaviours as well as barriers, and strategies to overcome barriers to their use. Interviews were conducted with participants at farmworker housing during non-work time. Qualitative data were analysed using ATLAS.ti. Farmworkers recognised pesticide protective behaviours as helping them to not get sick and stay healthy. Farmworkers perceived work experience as facilitating protective behaviours. Wetness in the field was the most commonly cited barrier to protective behaviour use. To overcome this barrier, farmworkers suggested use of water-resistant outerwear, as well as packing a change of clothes for mid-day, with space and time to change provided by employers. Examination of the efficacy and feasibility of farmworkers’ suggestions for addressing barriers is warranted. Training and behaviour modelling by experienced peers may improve behaviour adoption and perceived control.

Authors: Walton AL, LePrevost CE, Linnan L, Sanchez-Birkhead A, Mooney K. ;Full Source: International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. 2017 Jun 23;14(7). pii: E677. doi:10.3390/ijerph14070677. ;