Using IPM to Reduce Pyrethroid Pesticide Exposures in Dairy Workers

(NIOSH 2011-2016) This project partners with Washington State University to reduce pesticide use in dairy operations by introducing Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  practices in these workplaces. We are working with a network of participants to develop a robust and practical IPM program that provides evidence for cost-effective interventions that can reduce pesticide usage in these farm operations. University of Washington researchers will evaluate the potential for reducing pesticide use in dairy operations by conducting a targeted intervention to introduce more widespread use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in these workplaces.  Pyrethroid pesticides are widely used in agriculture and are applied on livestock in the form of sprays, dips, and tags to control flies and other insects, particularly in dairy operations. Pyrethroids also represent a potential workplace health issue in this region. Since 2001, pyrethroid-related illnesses documented by the Washington State Department of Health have quadrupled, suggesting that exposures to pyrethroid insecticides have been increasing both at home and in the workplace. For dairy and livestock operations, workers are at risk for exposures that come from contact with treated animals, treated surfaces, and proximity to application events. Given the multiple routes of exposure, biomonitoring using specific metabolites is an effective means of assessing worker exposures. In addition to the cost, storage, and handling issues associated with these chemicals, a future challenge to the industry is that insects are becoming pyrethroid-resistant, and alternative pest management strategies are needed. Alternative insect control strategies using IPM methods are available, which offer a potentially effective alternative that can reduce or eliminate costs and risks associated with pesticides.


Survey Results Flier (pdf)

2011 to 2016