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RR1119 - The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health (PIPAH) Study: baseline volunteer cohort

There are concerns that some pesticides may have levels of human toxicity that cause chronic health problems in workers who apply them, for instance cancers and neurological conditions. However, the evidence base linking worker exposure to pesticides and the development of adverse health outcomes is inconclusive. It is important to improve this evidence base so that any risks to worker health are understood and can be effectively controlled. The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators’ Health (PIPAH) Study is a long-term volunteer study established to develop a more complete understanding of how pesticide exposure potentially affects the health of workers.

This report describes key features of the baseline cohort of 5,731 volunteers recruited to the PIPAH Study in 2013 to September 2014, the main recruitment period. The volunteers are workers who are professional and licensed GB pesticide users. The key features described are: demographics; health as compared to data on the general public from a large number of English General Practices; and ‘lifestyle’ data on diet, alcohol and smoking. PIPAH is a prospective cohort study: volunteers are recruited into the study, and factors that may be relevant to the development of disease will be measured over a number of years.

The background to the PIPAH Study and its rationale and design are described in report RR1103.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE or DEFRA policy.

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Updated 2018-06-25