Pesticide risk communication, risk perception, and self-protective behaviors among farmworkers in california's salinas valley

Nolan L. Cabrera, James O. Leckie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Agricultural pesticide use is the highest of any industry, yet there is little research evaluating farmworkers' understandings of the health risks chemical exposure poses. This study examines pesticide education, risk perception, and self-protective behaviors among farmworkers in California's Salinas Valley. Fifty current and former farmworkers were interviewed for this research. Despite several potential barriers to risk communication (e.g., language differences and nonuniform methods of pesticide safety training), the respondents understood many of the potential health consequences of exposure while holding elevated levels of risk perception relative to the general public. They received information on the health effects of pesticide exposure from both grower-based training and personal social networks; however, the respondents continued to participate in unnecessarily risky behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-272
Number of pages15
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Farmworkers
  • Pesticides
  • Risk communication
  • Risk perception
  • Self-protective behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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