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Rhinitis Associated with Pesticide Exposure among Commercial Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study
  1. Rebecca E Slager, PhD (rslager{at}wfubmc.edu)
  1. Center of Human Genomics, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, United States
    1. Jill A Poole MD
    1. Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep & Allergy, University of Nebraska Mecial Center, United States
      1. Tricia D LeVan, PhD
      1. Pulmonary-College of Medicine & Dept of Epidemiology-College of Public Health, Univ of Neb Med Ctr, United States
        1. Dale P Sandler
        1. Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, United States
          1. Michael C R Alavanja
          1. Occupational Epidemiology Branch, NCI, NIH, DHHS, United States
            1. Jane A Hoppin (hoppin1{at}niehs.nih.gov)
            1. Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, United States

              Abstract

              Objectives: Rhinitis is common, but the risk factors are not well described. To investigate the association between current rhinitis and pesticide use, we used data from 2,245 Iowa commercial pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.

              Methods: Using logistic regression models adjusted for age, education, and growing up on a farm, we evaluated the association between current rhinitis and 34 pesticides used in the past year.

              Results: Seventy-four percent of commercial pesticide applicators reported at least one episode of rhinitis in the past year (current rhinitis). Five pesticides used in the past year were significantly positively associated with current rhinitis: the herbicides 2,4-D, glyphosate and petroleum oil, the insecticide diazinon and the fungicide benomyl. The association for 2,4-D and glyphosate was limited to individuals who used both in the past year (Odds Ratio = 1.42, 95% Confidence Interval: 1.14, 1.77). Both petroleum oil and diazinon showed consistent evidence of an association with rhinitis, based on both current use and exposure-response models. We saw no evidence of confounding by common agricultural rhinitis triggers such as handling grain or hay.

              Conclusions: Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of rhinitis.

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