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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2017 Nov;90(8):849-857. doi: 10.1007/s00420-017-1245-8. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Organic solvent exposure and depressive symptoms among licensed pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 213, Lexington, KY, 40536-0003, USA. miriam.siegel@uky.edu.
2
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, University of Iowa Research Park, 140 IREH, Iowa City, IA, 52242-5000, USA.
3
Department of Epidemiology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 213, Lexington, KY, 40536-0003, USA.
4
Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, MD A3-05, Research Triangle Park, PO Box 12233, Durham, NC, 27709, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Although organic solvents are often used in agricultural operations, neurotoxic effects of solvent exposure have not been extensively studied among farmers. The current analysis examined associations between questionnaire-based metrics of organic solvent exposure and depressive symptoms among farmers.

METHODS:

Results from 692 male Agricultural Health Study participants were analyzed. Solvent type and exposure duration were assessed by questionnaire. An "ever-use" variable and years of use categories were constructed for exposure to gasoline, paint/lacquer thinner, petroleum distillates, and any solvent. Depressive symptoms were ascertained with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D); scores were analyzed separately as continuous (0-60) and dichotomous (<16 versus ≥16) variables. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted associations between measures of solvent exposure and CES-D score.

RESULTS:

Forty-one percent of the sample reported some solvent exposure. The mean CES-D score was 6.5 (SD 6.4; median 5; range 0-44); 92% of the sample had a score below 16. After adjusting for covariates, statistically significant associations were observed between ever-use of any solvent, long duration of any solvent exposure, ever-use of gasoline, ever-use of petroleum distillates, and short duration of petroleum distillate exposure and continuous CES-D score (p < 0.05). Although nearly all associations were positive, fewer statistically significant associations were observed between metrics of solvent exposure and the dichotomized CES-D variable.

CONCLUSIONS:

Solvent exposures were associated with depressive symptoms among farmers. Efforts to limit exposure to organic solvents may reduce the risk of depressive symptoms among farmers.

KEYWORDS:

CES-D; Depressive symptoms; Epidemiology; Farmers; Organic solvent exposure

PMID:
28702848
PMCID:
PMC5728379
DOI:
10.1007/s00420-017-1245-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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