COSECHA Youth Researchers in Front of CHAMACOS Office with Logo

The Chamacos Of Salinas Evaluating Chemicals in Homes & Agriculture (COSECHA) study is a three year project of the CHAMACOS Youth Council. Experts from CERCH facilitate high school aged youth in Salinas, CA in exploring how teen girls living in an agricultural community are exposed to pesticides. California uses more than 185 million pounds of pesticides each year, approximately 7 million of which have been identified as probable or possible carcinogens or hormone disruptors.

CHAMACOS Environmental Health Education Mural Panorama

Yet, scientists know little about how teenage girls living in agricultural communities may be exposed to pesticides used on fields near their homes. One concern is that pesticide exposure during puberty, when breast tissue is developing, may increase risk for breast cancer later in life. The COSECHA Study is empowering teen researchers to learn about and act upon pesticide exposures in their community. 

COSECHA Youth Researchers Collecting Dust Sample

Study at a Glance:

  • Study Objectives: Determine teen girl's exposures to pesticides associated with hormone disrupting and/or carcinogenic effects, educate the local community on critical health topics, and empower local youth
  • Geographic Area: Participant's homes in Salinas Valley, CA
  • Participants: 100 teen girls living varying distances from agricultural fields
  • Study Tools:Two types of home dust samples, urine samples, environment sampling bracelet, GPS, pesticide maps, and questionnaires
  • Community Partners:La Clinica de Salud de Valle Salinas and 11 local youth research assistants 
  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Kim Harley, Ms. Kim Parra and Mr. Jose Camacho 
  • Study Manager: Mr. James Nolan
  • Funder: California Breast Cancer Research Program
  • ContactJames Nolan,