Rad Cunningham

Project title: Occupational Risk Factors for Serum Cholinesterase Inhibition Among Pesticide Applicators Exposed to Organophosphate and N-methyl-carbamate Pesticides in Washington State, 2006-2010

Degree: MPH | Program: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2010 | Faculty advisor: Matthew C. Keifer


Background: In 2009 Jon Hoffman did an analysis of risk factors for serum cholinesterase (BuChE) inhibition among agricultural pesticide handlers exposed to organophosphate (OP) and N-methyl-carbamate (CB ) insecticides using data from 2006 and 2007. He found that mixing and loading pesticides, cleaning spray equipment, and wearing a half-face as opposed to full-face respirator were risk factors for BuChE inhibition. Protective factors were wearing chemical resistant boots and having a locker at work.

Objective: With the aid of three additional years of data collection (2008-10) re-test the validity of Hoffman's findings. In 2006 and 2007 203 samples were collected from 154 individuals, in 2008 and 2009 123 additional samples were collected and 18 new individuals were consented to participate in the study. As of this writing an additional 15 samples have been collected in 2010

Methods: From 2006-Present we have been conducting a longitudinal study of pesticide handlers who are participating in the Washington State cholinesterase monitoring program. Self reported exposure data is collected through an audio and touch screen survey on Toshiba tablet laptops. This data is then compared to changes in BuChE levels reported by the monitoring program. Inhibition will be analyzed in relation to self-reported exposures using linear regression adjusted for confounders. Unconditional logistic regression will be used to odds ratios for the risk of BuChE depression for selected exposures.