Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Melissa Friesen

Second Advisor

Nicole Deziel


Pesticides are commonly used in agrarian areas to control for certain forms of undesirable plant or animal life. The widespread use of pesticides and the variety of chemicals that make up this class pose adverse health effects to those exposed to pesticides. Farmers often use multiple pesticides, and their use is often correlated with other pesticides. However, analyses typically examine each pesticide individually and mixture analysis is not as heavily considered. To further evaluate the exposure of pesticide usage, hierarchical clustering methods were used to identify similar questionnaire response patterns. This technique has been used to quantify homogenous exposure estimates to systematically group participants based on similarity patterns. High pesticide exposure, specifically two widely used herbicides pendimethalin and atrazine, has been associated with altered kidney function, although the relationship between individual pesticides and classes of pesticides and kidney dysfunction has not been well studied. Farmers are exposed to several pesticides frequently but the extent to which they are at risk of kidney dysfunction is unclear. Thus, clustering may be an effective strategy to assess mixtures and their association with a health outcome. This study will use cluster models to identify groups of farmers with similar pesticide usage in the workplace or home & garden use, explore the characteristics that differentiate those clusters, and evaluate the association of each grouping with kidney function.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access