The role of pesticide poisoning in risk of injuries may operate through a link between pesticide-induced depressive symptoms and reduced engagement in safety behaviors. The authors conducted structural equation modeling of cross-sectional data to examine the pattern of associations between pesticide poisoning, depressive symptoms, safety knowledge, safety behaviors, and injury. Interviews of 1637 Colorado farm operators and their spouses from 964 farms were conducted during 1993-1997. Pesticide poisoning was assessed based on a history of ever having been poisoned. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale was used to assess depressive symptoms. Safety knowledge and safety behaviors were assessed using ten items for each latent variable. Outcomes were safety behaviors and injuries. A total of 154 injuries occurred among 1604 individuals with complete data. Pesticide poisoning, financial problems, health, and age predicted negative affect/somatic depressive symptoms with similar effect sizes; sex did not. Depression was more strongly associated with safety behavior than was safety knowledge. Two safety behaviors were significantly associated with an increased risk of injury. This study emphasizes the importance of financial problems and health on depression, and provides further evidence for the link between neurological effects of past pesticide poisoning on risk-taking behaviors and injury.
- occupational health
- occupational safety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health