Monitoring Acetylcholinesterase Levels In Migrant Agricultural Workers and Their Children Using a Portable Test Kit

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Higgins, Gregory M.;
  • McCauley, Linda A.;
  • Muñiz, Juan F.


The EQM Research, Inc., portable test kit was evaluated as a surveillance tool for blood cholinesterase levels among migrant workers and their children. Laboratory validation demonstrated a linear relationship between the reference Ellman and kit methods (Ellman = 0.95 x kit result + 0.82, r2 = 0.98). Pre- and post-season cholinesterase levels measured in 70 farm workers were within normal ranges, but significantly different at 28.5 and 29.7 U/g Hb, respectively (paired t-test, p = 0.014). Results from 98 migrant farm worker children and a comparison group of 53 age-matched non-agricultural children showed that cholinesterase levels were not significantly different between the agricultural and non-agricultural children (ANOVA, p = 0.69). These data demonstrate that a portable test kit can provide useful data on pesticide exposures when measurements are made in a temperature-controlled setting.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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