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Predictors of Personal Protective Equipment Compliance among Farm Youth

Natalie Roy, MPH, Executive Director, AgriSafe Network
Results Abstract
It is well documented that pesticide handlers do not consistently use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Young farmers commonly handle pesticides on their farm even if they are not certified as “pesticide handlers”. Therefore, they are considered an important population to target at an early age with accurate information on preventing pesticide poisoning.

Introduction
AgriSafe is a national non-profit that advances the delivery of occupational health care to farm families. Strategies to increase use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among farm youth is an important component of AgriSafe’s efforts to protect those working in agriculture.

Chemical Protection

% who stated they mix and apply agricultural pesticides. (Y/N)
13 – 15 years old: 20% 16 – 19 years old: 20% all ages: 20%

Common Farming Activities Reported among 379 Farm Teens
• Cleaning grain bins • Unloading grain • Mixing and grinding feed • Unloading & feeding hay • Cleaning animal pens in barn • Feeding confinement animals • Cleaning confinement building • Working with poultry • Working with large animals • Hand harvesting fruits and vegetables • Using an ATV for farm work • Driving the lawnmower

% who stated they ALWAYS wear chemical protective gloves
13 – 15 years old: 52% 16 – 19 years old: 50% all ages: 51%

Methods
The AgriSafe Network collected quantitative data to assess PPE compliance among 379 FFA farm youth during the 2007 FFA convention. The survey tested PPE knowledge, PPE usage, and predominate high exposure farm tasks. The survey also assessed PPE usage in relation to stages of behavior change as described in the Transtheoretical Model.

Hearing Protection

The squeal of a pig has a louder decibel level (sound) than a chain saw. % who answered true:
13 – 15 years old: 80% 16 – 19 years old: 85% all ages: 83%

Recommendations
Strategies to Increase PPE Use among Farm Youth: • Assess stage of behavior change • Launch social marketing campaign aimed at the interests of youth (radio, print, internet) and various stages of behavior change • Apply methods of proven public health prevention • Identify high risk farm tasks • Make appropriate recommendation • Have PPE available by a reliable resource/organization

% who had noise exposure based on reported activities
13 – 15 years old: 84% 16 – 19 years old: 87% all ages: 86%

The AgriSafe Network collected quantitative data to assess PPE compliance among 379 FFA farm youth during the 2007 FFA convention. The survey tested PPE knowledge, PPE usage, and predominate high exposure farm tasks. The data includes exposures to various farm hazards in addition to pesticides. Among the youth who stated they mix and apply agricultural pesticides, only 51% stated they always wear chemical protective gloves.

% who stated they ALWAYS use a hearing protection
13 – 15 years old: 40% 16 – 19 years old: 32% all ages: 35%

Transtheoretical Model
Precontemplation Farm youth in this stage are unaware of the need to use PPE. There is no intention in the foreseeable future to use PPE. Contemplation Farm youth in this stage are aware of the risks associated with not using PPE. They are seriously thinking about use but have not made a commitment to take action. Preparation Farm youth are intending to take action in the next month to use PPE. Action Farm youth use PPE (either purchased by self or provided). Maintenance Farm youth in this category wear PPE on a consistent basis.

Respiratory Protection

Wearing a respirator, even if it does not fit correctly, is better than not wearing a respirator at all. % who answered false:
13 – 15 years old: 44% 16 – 19 years old: 46% all ages: 45%

% who had dust exposure based on reported activities
13 – 15 years old: 86% 16 – 19 years old: 90% all ages: 89%

References
1. Carpenter SW, Lee BC, Gunderson PD, Stueland DT. 2002. Assessment of Personal Protective Equipment Use Among Midwestern Farmers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 42:236-247 2. Ann K. Carruth, Stacie G. Duthu, Jeffrey Levin, Thadd Lavigne. Behavior Change, Environmental Hazards and Respiratory Protection Among a Southern Farm Community. Journal of Agromedicine Vol. 13, Iss. 1, 2008 3. Prochaska, James O.;Norcross, John C. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, Vol 38(4), 2001, 443-448. 4. Schenker MB, Orenstein MR, Samuels SJ. 2002. Use of Protective Equipment Among California Farmers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 42:455-464

% who stated they ALWAYS use a dust mask
13 – 15 years old: 29% 16 – 19 years old: 28% all ages: 28%

Skin Protection

If you get 5 or more sunburns during childhood, your risk of getting skin cancer doubles.
13 – 15 years old: 74% 16 – 19 years old: 86% all ages: 82%

Contact
Natalie Roy, MPH Executive Director AgriSafe Network Phone: (985) 845-1116 Email: nroy@agrisafe.org www.AgriSafe.org

When exposed to the direct sun, how often do you wear sun screen? % who answered “always”
13 – 15 years old: 39% 16 – 19 years old: 40% all ages: 40%

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