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


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
7 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the concentration and presence of pesticide residues in water and soil in Benguet, which is a vegetable producing region in the Philippines. Seventy-eight samples and 49 water samples were taken from different farms covering three municipalities in the province of Benguet and were analyzed using gas chromatography. Meteorological conditions of temperature and humidity were also taken. Thirty-four of the soil samples were found to be positive for pesticide residues. The most significant pesticide type with the highest concentration was technical endosulfan, with a mean concentration of 0.025 mg/kg, followed by endosulfan sulfate (0.015 mg/kg), chlorpyrifos (0.01 mg/kg), profenofos (0.003 mg/kg), chlorothanil, cypermethrin, and cylohathrin (all at 0.002 mg/kg). One water sample was found to be positive for pesticide residue of chlorpyrifos in municipality 2 at a concentration of 0.07 mg/L. The data also showed that endosulfan, which is restricted in the Philippines and banned in other countries, was found to be the most prevalent pesticide used (17.7%) and the second highest in concentration (0.015 mg/kg) in soil samples. The study also showed a relationship between temperature and pesticide concentration in soil. In conclusion, pesticide residues were found in soil and water samples in the farming areas of Benguet.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 02/2010; 59(2):175-81. DOI:10.1007/s00244-010-9478-5 · 1.90 Impact Factor
  • 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 12/2010; 5(2):184-189. DOI:10.2185/jrm.5.184
  • 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.
    Journal of Rural Medicine 12/2010; 5(2):153-64. DOI:10.2185/jrm.5.153
Show more

Similar Publications


7 Reads
Available from