Proximity to crops and residential to agricultural herbicides in Iowa

Environmental Health Perspectives
By: , and 



Rural residents can be exposed to agricultural pesticides through the proximity of their homes to crop fields. Previously, we developed a method to create historical crop maps using a geographic information system. The aim of the present study was to determine whether crop maps are useful for predicting levels of crop herbicides in carpet dust samples from residences. From homes of participants in a case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Iowa (1998-2000), we collected vacuum cleaner dust and measured 14 herbicides with high use on corn and soybeans in Iowa. Of 112 homes, 58% of residences had crops within 500 m of their home, an intermediate distance for primary drift from aerial and ground applications. Detection rates for herbicides ranged from 0% for metribuzin and cyanazine to 95% for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Six herbicides used almost exclusively in agriculture were detected in 28% of homes. Detections and concentrations were highest in homes with an active farmer. Increasing acreage of corn and soybean fields within 750 m of homes was associated with significantly elevated odds of detecting agricultural herbicides compared with homes with no crops within 750 m (adjusted odds ratio per 10 acres = 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.11). Herbicide concentrations also increased significantly with increasing acreage within 750 m. We evaluated the distance of crop fields from the home at < 100, 101-250, 251-500, and 501-750 m. Including the crop buffer distance parameters in the model did not significantly improve the fit compared with a model with total acres within 750 m. Our results indicate that crop maps may be a useful method for estimating levels of herbicides in homes from nearby crop fields.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Proximity to crops and residential to agricultural herbicides in Iowa
Series title Environmental Health Perspectives
DOI 10.1289/ehp.8770
Volume 114
Issue 6
Year Published 2006
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Health Perspectives
First page 893
Last page 897
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