Women living in agricultural areas may experience high pesticide exposures compared to women in urban or suburban areas due to their proximity to farm activities. The objective of the study was to review the evidence in the published literature for the contribution of nonoccupational pathways of pesticide exposure in women living in North American agricultural areas.

Pesticide exposure may be positively associated with depression. Few previous studies have considered the episodic nature of depression or examined individual pesticides. The researchers evaluated associations between pesticide exposure and depression among male
private pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.

The researchers evaluated the relationship between diagnosed depression and pesticide exposure using information from private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study between 1993 and 1997 in Iowa and North Carolina.

The authors examined the association between pesticide use and breast cancer incidence among farmers’ wives in a large prospective cohort study in Iowa and North Carolina. Participants were 30,454 women with no history of breast cancer prior to cohort enrollment in 1993–1997. Information on pesticide use and other information was obtained by self-administered questionnaire at enrollment from the women and their husbands. Through 2000, 309 incident breast cancer cases were identified via population-based cancer registries.