Comparison of pesticide exposure and physical examination, neurological assessment, and laboratory findings between full-time and part-time vegetable farmers in the Philippines.

National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila, P Gil Street, 1100 Manila, Philippines.
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 10/2009; 14(6):345-52. DOI: 10.1007/s12199-009-0105-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study aimed to compare the work practices and health effects of pesticide exposure between full-time and part-time vegetable farmers.
Data was gathered via structured personal interview using a 9-page questionnaire, physical examination, and blood extraction for complete blood count and serum creatinine.
Pyrethroid was the pesticide type most used by both groups. The risk for full-time farmers was related to both the amount of exposure and the type of pesticide. There were more full-time farmers who complained of falling ill because of work. This difference was statistically significant (P = 0.05). The level of those seeking medical attention was also significantly different between the two groups (P = 0.01). In assessing the individual components of the neurologic examination, 5.22% of full-time and 8.63% of part-time farmers had abnormal cranial nerve function, and 22 (5.7%) and 9 (6.47%) had abnormal motor strength. All farmers tested for reflexes, meningeals, and autonomics from both groups were normal. Based on hematologic examination, full-time farmers had higher mean values for creatinine, white blood cell, red blood cell, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Activity of cholinesterase enzymes in blood can be utilized as a biomarker for the effect of organophosphates; of the 232 blood cholinesterase results, 94 (40%) were abnormal.
The study showed certain differences between full-time and part-time farmers in terms of farming practices and health-related problems. Education on safe pesticide use and handling and better health monitoring of the farmers are recommended.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tobacco farming presents several hazards to those who cultivate and harvest the plant. The genotoxic and mutagenic effects in tobacco farmers were investigated. In order to verify the relationship between genetic susceptibility and biomarkers GSTT1, GSTM1, GSTP1, CYP2A6, PON, OGG1, RAD51, XRCC1, and XRCC4 genes polymorphism were evaluated. Oxidative stress markers and trace elements content were determined. Peripheral blood cells samples were collected from 111 agricultural workers during pesticides application and leaf harvest, and 56 non-exposed subjects. Results show that farmers are exposed to mixture of substances with genotoxic and cytotoxic potential. Only GSTM1 null and CYP2A6*9 showed significant associations with cytokinesis-blocked micronuclei assay results. In pesticide application an increase in trace elements content was observed. The results indicated that exposure to pesticides and nicotine can influence antioxidant enzymes activity. Our study drives the attention once more to the need for occupational training on safe work environment for farm workers.
    Journal of hazardous materials 05/2012; 225-226:81-90. DOI:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.04.074 · 4.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study aims to provide a comprehensive trend of pesticide poisoning cases in the Philippines as well as pesticide exposures, and risk factors related to the adverse effects of pesticide. Records were gathered from the National Poison Control and Management Center (NPCMC), the Philippine General Hospital, De La Salle Medical Center, and other hospitals, and reviewed research studies conducted in the Philippines. Based on hospital surveys, the number of pesticide cases as well as mortality trends have been increasing. Studies from 2006 to 2010 showed that human health especially those of the farmers is at risk due to pesticide exposure. Illnesses and symptoms such as headache, skin abnormalities, fatigue, fever, and weaknesses were the common health complaints experienced by the farmers as reported in the research studies. Moreover, the studies showed risk factors to pesticide exposure, work practices, and pesticide residues in environmental media that could be contributory to pesticide poisoning cases. Government agencies should intensify their surveillance and regulation on both household and agricultural pesticides. The state of pesticide-related illnesses mirrors the poor safety practices among farmers as well as lack of necessary supervision from the government agencies.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of study is to provide an analysis of data trends on the type of pesticide used, exposure factors, and the pesticide-related concerns among the farmers from 2005 to 2010 in one of the largest vegetable producing areas in the Philippines. This is to determine and analyze changes that have occurred for the last five years in order to provide necessary basis in promoting safe usage of pesticides. It is shown in the studies that the most commonly used type of pesticide was Tamaron (methamidophos) which is an organophosphate. The top five pesticide-related symptoms confirm findings in other studies. The risk factors to pesticide exposure were also identified in the reviewed studies such as improper mixing and loading of pesticides, and re-entering previously sprayed area. Pesticide residues were also found in vegetables, soil and water samples. This points to environmental contamination due to pesticide. It is suggested that government agencies implement programs on monitoring, surveillance, information dissemination, and training on proper use of pesticides, and seek alternative farming such as organically grown vegetables, or use of integrated pest management as well as good agricultural practices.
    Journal of Rural Medicine 01/2010; 5(2):184-189. DOI:10.2185/jrm.5.184


Available from