Prevalence of symptoms of neurotoxicity and potential occupational pesticide and solvent exposures among high school students in Starr County, Texas: A pilot study
Numerous harmful occupational exposures affect working teens in the United States. Teens working in agriculture and other heavy-labor industries may be at risk for occupational exposures to pesticides and solvents. The neurotoxicity of pesticides and solvents at high doses is well-known; however, the long term effects of these substances at low doses on occupationally exposed adolescents have not been well-studied. To address this research gap, a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data was completed in order to estimate the prevalence of self-reported symptoms of neurotoxicity among a cohort of high school students from Starr County, Texas, a rural area along the Texas-Mexico border. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate the association between work status (i.e., no work, farm work, and non-farm work) and symptoms of neurotoxicity, while controlling for age, gender, Spanish speaking preference, inhalant use, tobacco use, and alcohol use. The sample included 1,208 students. Of these, the majority (85.84%) did not report having worked during the prior nine months compared to 4.80% who did only farm work, 6.21% who did only non-farm work, and 3.15% who did both types of work. On average, students reported 3.26 symptoms with a range from 0-16. The most commonly endorsed items across work status were those related to memory impairment. Adolescents employed in non-farm work jobs reported more neurotoxicity symptoms than those who reported that they did not work (Mean 4.31; SD 3.97). In the adjusted multivariable regression model, adolescents reporting non-farm work status reported an average of 0.77 more neurotoxicity symptoms on the Q16 than those who did not work (P = 0.031). The confounding variables included in the final model were all found to be factors significantly associated with report of neurotoxicity symptoms. Future research should examine the relationship between these variables and self-report of symptoms of neurotoxicity.
Occupational health|Public health|Epidemiology
Ainsworth, Lauren Rachel, "Prevalence of symptoms of neurotoxicity and potential occupational pesticide and solvent exposures among high school students in Starr County, Texas: A pilot study" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497713.