ArticlePublisher preview available

Biochemical and genotoxic effects in women exposed to pesticides in Southern Ecuador

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

Toxicity refers to the potential of a substance such as a pesticide to cause damage to the structure or functions of an exposed organism. Pesticides can lead to harmful biological effects in exposed animals and their offspring over the medium and long term. They can affect the immunological, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems. DNA damage has also been linked to exposure to pesticides, and this damage can cause abortions, degenerative diseases, and cancer. The aim of this work was to establish whether women who are indirectly exposed to pesticides exhibit a compromised health status, including genotoxic effect. Women exposed indirectly to pesticides in Chimchanga and Colaisaca in the south of Ecuador underwent hematological and biochemical tests and micronucleus assay in buccal cells. The subjects were also genotyped for GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTP1, and PON1 polymorphisms, which can modify an individual’s capacity to metabolize pesticides and relation with damage of DNA. The study revealed hepatic toxicity in Colaisaca women (AST and ALT) and an increase in the rate of micronucleus (MN) in Colaisaca individuals. In addition, genetic polymorphisms in PON1 and GSTP1 showed effects of modulating the frequency of karyolytic cells, karyorrhectic cells, and condensed chromatin cells.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Biochemical and genotoxic effects in women exposed
to pesticides in Southern Ecuador
Paulina Arévalo-Jaramillo
1
&Alicia Idrobo
1
&Lorena Salcedo
2
&Andrea Cabrera
1,3
&Andrea Vintimilla
1,3
&
Mayra Carrión
1,3
&Natalia Bailon-Moscoso
1
Received: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published online: 26 June 2019
#Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019
Abstract
Toxicity refers to the potential of a substance such as a pesticide to cause damage to the structure or functions of an exposed
organism. Pesticides can lead to harmful biological effects in exposed animals and their offspring over the medium and long term.
They can affect the immunological, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems. DNA damage has also been linked to
exposure to pesticides, and this damage can cause abortions, degenerative diseases, and cancer. The aim of this work was to
establish whether women who are indirectly exposed to pesticides exhibit a compromised health status, including genotoxic
effect. Women exposed indirectly to pesticides in Chimchanga and Colaisaca in the south of Ecuador underwent hematological
and biochemical tests and micronucleus assay in buccal cells. The subjects were also genotyped for GSTM1,GSTT1,GSTP1,and
PON1 polymorphisms, which can modify an individuals capacity to metabolize pesticides and relation with damage of DNA.
The study revealed hepatic toxicity in Colaisaca women (AST and ALT) and an increase in the rate of micronucleus (MN) in
Colaisaca individuals. In addition, genetic polymorphisms in PON1 and GSTP1 showed effects of modulating the frequency of
karyolytic cells, karyorrhectic cells, and condensed chromatin cells.
Keywords Woman .Genotoxicity .Hepatoxicity .Pesticide exposure .Buccal cell MN assay .PON1 .GSTM1 .GSTT1 .GSTP1
Introduction
Pesticides are chemical substances used as herbicides, insec-
ticides, fungicides, and rodenticides. They are commonly used
in agriculture to control crop pests and increase food produc-
tion. However, pesticide abuse is common in agricultural
practice (Kumar et al. 2018). Toxicity refers to the potential
of substances, including pesticides, to cause damage to the
structure or functions of an organism that has been exposed
to them.
Pesticides can lead to harmful biological effects over the
medium and long term in humans and animals exposed to them.
These effects can manifest themselves in both exposed crea-
tures and their offspring (Cattani et al. 2017). Pesticides can
have effects on the immunological, nervous, endocrine, and
reproductive systems (Maqbool et al. 2015; Nicolopoulou-
Stamati et al. 2016). DNA damage has also been linked to
exposure to pesticides, causing abortions, degenerative dis-
eases, and cancer (de Adad et al. 2015).
The agricultural sector is vital for Ecuadors economy and
impacts the physical, environmental, economic, and social
spheres of the country. Agriculture also affects the capacity
of the country to generate employment and income through
the export of traditional products (National Institute of
Statistics and Census, (INEC) 2013). In small and remote
villages, the only source of income and food is orchards or
crops that are cared for by entire families; men generally apply
pesticides or insecticides, and women help with carrying wa-
ter and remaining in the area of the crops all the time; women
even cook and eat in the same place. Both men and women
Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues
*Natalia Bailon-Moscoso
ncbailon@utpl.edu.ec
1
Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Tecnica
Particular de Loja, San Cayetano alto s/n, CP:
1101608 Loja, Ecuador
2
Instituto de Ruralidades del Sur del Ecuador, Juan Jose Peña y
Colon., Loja, Ecuador
3
Maestría en Análisis Biológico y Diagnóstico de Laboratorio,
Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Tecnica
Particular de Loja, San Cayetano alto s/n, CP
:1101608 Loja, Ecuador
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2019) 26:2491124921
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05725-7
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Eight publications reported on the association of pesticide exposure with markers of liver injury ( Table 9). Six of the eight publications were from studies that ascertained pesticide exposure only via questionnaire, 81,88,206,[238][239][240] whereas two studies measured blood ChE 241 or blood b-glucuronidase activity. 242 A publication from a cross-sectional study in Mexico reported that a higher activity of b-glucuronidase-a sensitive biomarker of OP pesticide exposure 243,244 -was associated with increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) levels. ...
... 238 A published crosssectional study conducted in Ecuador also found that women living in one agricultural community, but not women living in another agricultural area, had a greater percentage of ALT and AST levels exceeding normal levels compared with controls. 81 A publication from a separate cross-sectional study in Brazil reported lower alkaline phosphatase levels in farmworkers who had worked with pesticides than in those who had not. 88 Last, a publication from a cross-sectional study of individuals living close to an uncontrolled contaminated site containing the residues and leftovers of a deactivated OC pesticide factory in Brazil reported null associations of pesticide exposure with markers of liver injury. ...
... Fourteen publications reported on the associations of pesticide exposure with hematological parameters ( Table 9). Twelve of the 14 publications relied on questionnaires to assess environmental or occupational pesticide exposure 52,54,73,81,94,96,98,238,[245][246][247][248] ; only 2 ascertained exposure via direct exposure assessment and used these measurements in their exposure-outcome analyses. 242,249 Four publications reported null associations with hematological parameters. ...
Full-text available
Article
Background: Multiple epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to pesticides is associated with adverse health outcomes. However, the literature on pesticide-related health effects in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region, an area of intensive agricultural and residential pesticide use, is sparse. We conducted a scoping review to describe the current state of research on the health effects of pesticide exposure in LAC populations with the goal of identifying knowledge gaps and research capacity building needs. Methods: We searched PubMed and SciELO for epidemiological studies on pesticide exposure and human health in LAC populations published between January 2007 and December 2021. We identified 233 publications from 16 countries that met our inclusion criteria and grouped them by health outcome (genotoxicity, neurobehavioral outcomes, placental outcomes and teratogenicity, cancer, thyroid function, reproductive outcomes, birth outcomes and child growth, and others). Results: Most published studies were conducted in Brazil (37%, n=88) and Mexico (20%, n=46), were cross-sectional in design (72%, n=167), and focused on farmworkers (45%, n=105) or children (21%, n=48). The most frequently studied health effects included genotoxicity (24%, n=62) and neurobehavioral outcomes (21%, n=54), and organophosphate (OP) pesticides were the most frequently examined (26%, n=81). Forty-seven percent (n=112) of the studies relied only on indirect pesticide exposure assessment methods. Exposure to OP pesticides, carbamates, or to multiple pesticide classes was consistently associated with markers of genotoxicity and adverse neurobehavioral outcomes, particularly among children and farmworkers. Discussion: Our scoping review provides some evidence that exposure to pesticides may adversely impact the health of LAC populations, but methodological limitations and inconsistencies undermine the strength of the conclusions. It is critical to increase capacity building, integrate research initiatives, and conduct more rigorous epidemiological studies in the region to address these limitations, better inform public health surveillance systems, and maximize the impact of research on public policies. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP9934.
... The blind analysis was not described in 8 studies (Arévalo-Jaramillo et al., 2019;Claudio et al. 2019;Cobanoglu et al. 2019;Dutta and Bahadur 2016;Ergene et al. 2007;Lucero et al. 2000;Pastor et al. 2001a,b). On the other hand, all studies adequately described which statistical test was applied in the studies. ...
... The results of this study ratifies the positive relationship. This was due to the fact in almost all studies categorized as moderate or strong at the final rating have revealed high micronucleus incidence in buccal cells from people exposed to pesticides (Arévalo-Jaramillo et al., 2019;Carbajal-López et al. 2016;Benedetti et al. 2013;Da Silva et al. 2012;Kausar et al. 2014;Martínez-Valenzuela et al. 2017;Pastor et al. 2001a;Tomiazzi et al. 2018;Valencia-Quintana et al. 2021;Wilhelm et al. 2015). ...
... Arévalo-Jaramillo et al., 2019;Benedetti et al. 2018;Carbajal-López et al. 2016;Claudio et al. 2019;Cobanoglu et al. 2019;Da Silva et al. 2012;De Bortoli et al. 2009;De Oliveira et al. 2019;Dutta and Bahadur 2016;Ergene et al. 2007;Hutter et al. 2018;Kausar et al. 2014;Martínez- Valenzuela et al. 2017;Sailaja et al. 2006;Valencia-Quintana et al. 2021). Nevertheless, the studies conducted by DeBortoli et al. (2009), Pastor et al. (2001a,b, 2002,Lucero et al. (2000),Remor et al. (2009), andTomiazzi et al. (2018) ...
Full-text available
Article
The systematic review (SR) with meta-analysis aimed to infer if micronucleus assay using oral mucosal cells a useful biomarker for biomonitoring populations continuously exposed to pesticides (EP). The SR has been made in accordance with the PRISMA-P guidelines. The PICOS strategy has focused to answer the following question: “Does exposure to pesticides cause genetic damage in oral cells?” The literature search was made in the following scientific databases: Web of Science, PubMed/Medline, and Scopus. The approach was defined as follows: standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The quality assessment of manuscripts was obtained by the EPHPP (Effective Public Health Practice Project). The GRADE tool was chosen for assessing the quality of evidence. A total of 108 articles were selected in this setting. After screening abstracts and titles, 23 manuscripts were evaluated for eligibility. After reviewing the studies, two were considered weak and 22 were classified as moderate or strong. The meta-analysis data pointed out statistically significant differences in volunteers exposed to EP (SMD = 1.23, 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.77, p < 0.001), with a Tau² = 1.44; Chi² = 566.38, and p < 0.001, so that the selected manuscripts were considered heterogeneous and the I² of 97% indicated high heterogeneity. Taken together, this review was able to validate the micronucleus assay in oral exfoliated cells as a useful biomarker in individuals continuously exposed to EP because the studies categorized as moderate and strong have demonstrated positive response related to mutagenesis.
... Since the use of PPE can influence on the negative association between AChE and BChE activities depletion and pesticide exposure [34], the use of protective measurements among most of the workers as in the study of Taghavian et al. [35] has certainly influenced the results. Although we could not compare the acetylcholinesterase levels with other studies due to different measurement units and types, we have found many articles that confirmed our results such as the work of Krieger and Dinoff [36], or articles that demonstrated even unchanged or nonsignificant changes in the exposed and control group [37,38], even though various studies have demonstrated the inhibitory effect of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides on cholinesterase activities. At the end, previous results from other colleagues in our group demonstrated that determination of AChE activity does not need to provide reliable evidence for exposure and that the use of other test or biomarkers to detect effects of long-term exposure to pesticides should be recommended [15]. ...
... According to the multiple linear regression models (in which it is detected that independent variables have a great effect on the variation of a dependent one) it was found that for the tail moment in the comet assay the only independent variable that contributes to its variability is the BMI (b = 0.3161 ± 0.156, p = 0.049). Arévalo-Jaramillo et al. [38], in their study over biochemical and genotoxic effects in women exposed to pesticides in Southern Ecuador, observed that the population with highest rate of obesity also exhibited greater genotoxic effects. Our findings could be a consequence of the ability of some pesticides to accumulate in fatty tissue [65], thus overweight or obesity may be a factor that can increase the risk of intoxication from pesticides and the level of oxidative stress that causative can also influence on the level of DNA damage [66]. ...
Full-text available
Article
Pesticides have been considered as potential chemical mutagens; however, little is known about toxic and genotoxic effects during pesticide application in Zamora-Jacona, Michoacan State in Mexico. This study sought to determine DNA damage and cholinesterase activities inhibitions in 54 agricultural workers exposed to complex mixtures of pesticides vs. control group (26 individuals) using Comet assay in peripheral whole blood, micronucleus (MN) test in oral mucosa cells, Cytokinesis-blocked MN assay in lymphocytes (L-CBMNcyt) and measuring AChE and BChE activities in whole blood and plasma samples, respectively. Exposed subjects demonstrated significantly elevated levels of primary (Comet assay: tail intensity, tail length, tail moment, Olive tail moment) and permanent DNA damage (MN assay: in blood/buccal cells; frequencies of nuclear buds, binucleated cells, cells with condensed chromatin, karyorrhexis, pyknosis, and karyolysis). However, inhibition of cholinesterase activities (AChE and BChE) was not observed in the workers. Confounding factors including sex, age, BMI, working exposure period, protection level, smoking habit (cigarettes per day units), alcohol consumption (weekly), medication, were considered in the analysis. These combined techniques demonstrated usefulness in the health hazards risks pesticide exposure assessment and suggested the need for periodic monitoring together with the education and the training of occupational workers for the safe application of potentially harmful pesticides.
... The buccal micronucleus cytome assay (BMCA) is considered a suitable test for the evaluation of risks associated with chemical induction [39,40], which can be used to detect cytotoxic and genotoxic damage caused by short-and long-term exposures to pesticides with effects on the oral mucosa in humans [41]. The peasant maize producers directly involved in the handling and periodic application of pesticides are at high risk of cytotoxic and genotoxic damage, especially due to the absence of protective equipment or not using it properly [42]. ...
Full-text available
Article
Corn cultivation represents the largest type of agricultural production in Mexico, with great economic, social, and cultural importance. The health of corn producers could be compromised by the extensive and accumulated use of pesticides. The effects of pesticides in terms of their cytotoxic and genotoxic damage in two groups of peasant maize producers in Tlaxcala, Mexico, were considered here. The buccal micronucleus cytome assay was used as an indicator of cytotoxi-city and genotoxicity, along with nuclear abnormalities present in farmers who had used pesticides in the last thirty years. In total, 21 commercial products used in corn production were identified, mainly herbicides belonging to the chlorophenoxy, triazine, and organophosphate compounds; in addition, it was observed that a small group of farmers use the active ingredient carbofuran, as well as insecticides and fungicides. The results show that farmers with higher pesticide use present higher rates of cytotoxic and genotoxic damage compared to the group of producers with higher incidence rates of agroecological practices and lower rates of pesticide use, as revealed by the mi-cronucleus assay, as well as by nuclear abnormalities present in the epithelial cells of the buccal mucosa. The agroecological farmer group used only herbicides, with the 2,4-D (Hierbamina) being the greatest use in maize cultivation.
... However, besides the potential agricultural advantages of pesticides, a broad spectrum of intensive studies over the years has declared these synthesized compounds to be hazardous to health [5][6][7]. Extensive research over the years has led to the realization that the harmful effects of pesticides include genotoxicity [8,9], teratogenicity, embryotoxicity [10], and perhaps carcinogenicity [11]. ...
Full-text available
Article
Environmentally hazardous substances such as pesticides are gaining increasing interest in agricultural and nutritional research. This study aims to investigate the impact of these compounds on the healthspan and mitochondrial functions in an invertebrate in vivo model and in vitro in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, and to investigate the potential of polyphenolic metabolites to compensate for potential impacts. Wild-type nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans, N2) were treated with pesticides such as pyraclostrobin (Pyr), glyphosate (Gly), or fluopyram (Fluo). The lifespans of the nematodes under heat stress conditions (37 °C) were determined, and the chemotaxis was assayed. Energetic metabolites, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP), lactate, and pyruvate, were analyzed in lysates of nematodes and cells. Genetic expression patterns of several genes associated with lifespan determination and mitochondrial parameters were assessed via qRT-PCR. After incubation with environmentally hazardous substances, nematodes were incubated with a pre-fermented polyphenol mixture (Rechtsregulat®Bio, RR) or protocatechuic acid (PCA) to determine heat stress resistance. Treatment with Pyr, Glyph and Fluo leads to dose-dependently decreased heat stress resistance, which was significantly improved by RR and PCA. The chemotaxes of the nematodes were not affected by pesticides. ATP levels were not significantly altered by the pesticides, except for Pyr, which increased ATP levels after 48 h leads. The gene expression of healthspan and mitochondria-associated genes were diversely affected by the pesticides, while Pyr led to an overall decrease of mRNA levels. Over time, the treatment of nematodes leads to a recovery of the nematodes on the mitochondrial level but not on stress resistance on gene expression. Fermented extracts of fruits and vegetables and phenolic metabolites such as PCA seem to have the potential to recover the vitality of C. elegans after damage caused by pesticides.
... -Genetic results and genotoxicity: for the Chimchanga females, death biomarkers karyolytic cells (KL) and karyorrhectic cells (KR) where higher than in the unexposed group. They stated that the exposure these women faced during the time of fumigation is causing liver and genetic damage in the population of Colaisaca due to the more frequent use of pesticides [43] Gdańsk, Poland N = 511 women (25-39 years) with problems to achieve clinical pregnancy, but normal menstruation and confirmed ovulatory cycles without chronic diseases that may reduce ovarian reserve ...
Full-text available
Article
Pesticides are substances that have become widely used in agriculture and the human exposure to these substances may cause adverse health outcomes. Non-occupational exposure to them can come from many sources, such as food or water. For occupational exposure, many studies have been conducted in men, as they have been mostly in charge of work related to these substances. Nonetheless, the information available concerning the exposure in women is very scarce. In addition, an important differentiation between rural and urban areas has been established, rural areas being known as the most exposed ones due to plantation fields. However, the application of higher concentrations of herbicides in small urban areas is taking a lot of importance currently as well. Regardless of gender, the conditions of exposure, and the environment, the exposure to these pesticides can have different effects on health from early life stages, resulting in different outcomes ranging from neurodevelopmental effects in newborns to different types of cancers. In this review, we discussed the toxicity of the most commonly used pesticides and the main impact on the health of the general population, focusing mainly on the effect in women from both rural and urban areas, and the different stages of development, from pregnancy or lactation to the outcomes of these exposures for their children.
... The frequency of exposure to OPs was higher (approximately 60%) than that of other pesticides. This may be related to CNS toxicity, immunosuppression, genotoxicity and cancer (Androutsopoulos et al., 2011;Arévalo-Jaramillo et al., 2019;Ceja-Gálvez et al., 2020;Martínez-Valenzuela and Gómez-Arroyo, 2007;Reynoso et al., 2019;Suratman et al., 2015). The frequent use of OPs is due to their effectiveness in the control of corn pests (Murcia and Stashenko, 2008). ...
Full-text available
Article
Paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) is an enzyme that hydrolyzes organophosphate pesticides. The presence of polymorphisms in PON-1 (L55M and Q192R) decreases its enzyme activity and increases the risk of central nervous system (CNS) toxicity in occupationally exposed farmers, leading to chronic degenerative diseases and death. We studied 103 farmers in the region of Cienega Jalisco, Mexico, which were exposed mainly to organophosphate pesticides. We used serum and plasma samples to assay PON-1 activity and perform polymorphism analysis (L55M and Q192R) using qPCR and TaqMan probes, respectively. For both polymorphisms, there was high percentage of heterozygosity (55 LL = 0.19, LM = 0.75, MM = 0.06; 192 QQ = 0.12, QR = 0.72, RR = 0.16), while the allelic frequencies were more balanced (L = 0.56, M = 0.44; Q = 0.48, R = 0.52). There were no significant differences in enzyme activity of L55M polymorphism genotypes (LL = 179.27; LM = 192.11; MM = 122.11; QQ = 135.74; QR = 187.90; RR = 209; p > 0.05). But there was a slight decrease in enzyme activity for the Q192R polymorphism genotypes. The genotype and alcohol consumption associated with slight increases in enzyme activity. However, genotype and tobacco consumption did not have a significant effect on PON-1 activity (µU/mL) (p > 0.05). Overall, alcohol and tobacco consumption affected PON-1 enzyme activity (µU/mL) up to 21.1%. The data obtained in this study reveal that PON-1 activity is affected by genetic variants such as Q192R and alcohol consumption. This may influence the susceptibility of populations to organophosphate poisoning.
... Human exposure to pesticides is a recurring process due to pesticide residues in agricultural products and water. However, the most susceptible people to poisoning are farmers because they have direct contact with pesticides, and are unaware of the correct way to apply pesticides and therefore do not adopt safety measures [1][2]. Pesticideinduced disorders may be short-term or long-term, resulting mainly in poisoning and the formation of free radicals (highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons). ...
Full-text available
Article
Introduction: In humans, there are sets of genes that encode enzymes that decrease or increase the risks derived from exposure to pesticides. These include DNA repair genes (XRCC1, OGG1 and XRCC4); pesticide metabolizers (GSTP1 and PON1), and genes that act against oxidative stress (SOD2 and NQO1). Objective: The aim of this literature review is to provide information about the genes involved in the defence systems against exposure to pesticides, as well as their polymorphisms, functions, and general characteristics of the encoded enzymes. Material and methods: Information was obtained from scientific articles published between 2015-2020 in the PubMed database (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Results: Genes related to the defence processes against pesticides present single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with allelic variants that affect the expressions or structures of the encoded enzymes, negatively altering their activities. If we knew the genetic profile that includes polymorphisms of DNA-repairing genes, metabolizing genes, and genes against oxidative stress in subjects exposed to pesticides, we would also know about their susceptibility to poisoning caused by these chemicals. Conclusions: The genes could be used to propose a genetic profile in farmers exposed to various pesticides, including 10 gene polymorphisms involved in susceptibility to various pathologies related to DNA repair, xenobiotic metabolism, and oxidative stress. It could also be useful as a preventive measure to identify susceptibility to pesticide poisoning.
Chapter
The use of agrochemicals in agriculture as a tool for generating increase in agricultural production per unit of inputs has both its merits and demerits. Agrochemicals have been a useful tool in the intensive development of agriculture over the centuries. While agricultural intensification is necessary for meeting the food needs of the world’s ever-increasing population, it has undoubtedly resulted in the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Changes in agricultural management practices and intensities of production, and changes in the vegetative diversity in an agroecosystem are issues that are closely linked to one another. The development and use of agrochemicals have greatly helped in keeping up with world food demands, but the effects they have on plant and animal life, the integrity of our soil and water, as well as the health of the environment as a whole should not be overlooked. Mankind cannot do without farming the land for his food and livelihood, but in tackling the problems of hunger and nutrition, attention must not only be paid to boosting food production, improving livelihoods and creating resilient food systems, but also to protecting and sustaining our natural ecosystem and resources. Activities such as plowing, harrowing, as well as the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides have been shown to have significant effects on the environment. Structure of modern agriculture gradually and continually eliminates biological diversity which is the foundation of any stable and productive ecosystem. This situation pushes forward the question of if technological progress (with a major focus on the use of chemicals for plant protection and increased yield) without due respect to biodiversity principles can bring about the environmentally friendly agriculture that is necessary for sustainable development. It is therefore necessary to examine the threats that exists as a result of the use (and misuse) of agrochemicals, and what exactly these existing threats portend for biodiversity. In this light, this chapter will examine in great depth, the advantages and threats of agrochemicals on biodiversity conservation.KeywordsAgrochemicalsBiodiversityAgricultureEcosystemEnvironmentConservation
Full-text available
Article
The potential risk of pesticide exposure in developing countries needs further study as data are limited, and simple tools to assess the risks on human health and the environment caused by pesticides are lacking. This article introduces a Potential Pesticides Exposure Index (PPEI) as a modeling tool to assess the risk of human and environmental pesticide exposure in agricultural basins. The PPEI is based on a number of factors including: human population centers and their proximity to agricultural crops, the toxicological properties of pesticides, and their application frequency. The index was applied to a region in southern Ecuador (approximately 7200 km2) where corn, rice, and sugarcane are the predominate, and where it identified hot spots with the highest vulnerability to pesticide residues. Of the total of 5326 neighborhoods for the entire study area, 1030 high, 1124 medium and 1009 low PPEI scores. Among the practical uses of PPEI area to help to assist regulatory agencies and academics evaluate the effects of land use policies on pesticide vulnerability. Also, it can be easily expanded to include other parameters, such as data from other agricultural crops, or frequency of pesticides application. The PPEI can be a valuable indicator of risk of pesticide exposure, as it is reliable and applicable to developing countries, where data and resources are limited. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text available
Article
Oxidative stress can cause DNA damage leading to nuclear anomalies such as micronuclei (MN). Antioxidant enzymes involved in protection against intracellular oxidative stress include glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT). Pesticide exposure induces oxidative stress and alters antioxidant defense mechanisms, including detoxification and scavenger enzymes. The aim of this study was to evaluate MN frequency in workers occupationally exposed to pesticides and their relationship with antioxidant enzyme activities. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 201 individuals, some of whom were dedicated to the spraying of pesticides. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay was conducted, and the activities of GPx, GR, SOD, and CAT were determined. The geometric mean (GM) of MN was 5.4 (1–26 MN). The GM for the antioxidant enzymes was 198.68 U/mL for GPx, 38.96 U/g Hb for GR, 94.78 U/mL for SOD, and 69.77 U/g Hb for CAT. There was a lower MN frequency in males than that in females, and a higher nuclear index. In addition, age affected MN frequency. There was a negative correlation between MN frequency and GPx activity, but a positive one between MN frequency and GR activity. These findings suggest the involvement of GPx in MN frequency.
Full-text available
Article
Pesticides have become an inevitable part of the modern environment as they are widely used in agriculture, household, and public health sectors and, hence, are extensively distributed throughout most ecosystems. Currently, organophosphate pesticides are the most commercially favored group of pesticides, with large application areas all over the world. Depending on their fate, these organophosphorus compounds may become bioavailable for microbial degradation. Environmental microbes, such as Aspergillus, Pseudomonas, Chlorella, and Arthrobacter, are capable of coupling a variety of physical and biochemical mechanisms for the degradation of organophosphate pesticides, including adsorption, hydrolysis of P–O alkyl and aryl bonds, photodegradation, and enzymatic mineralization. Enzymes, such as esterase, diisopropyl fluorophosphatase, phosphotriesterase, somanase, parathion hydrolase, and paraoxonase, have been isolated from microbes to study and understand the catabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of these xenobiotic compounds. This review highlights various aspects of biodegradation of organophosphate pesticides along with biological and molecular characterization of some organophosphate pesticide-degrading bacteria.
Full-text available
Article
Glutathione S-transferases are important detoxification enzymes involved in the metabolism of endogenous as well as exogenous compounds. Individuals differ in metabolic capacity due to inherited genetic variations. Due to the polymorphism exhibited by GSTT1 and GSTM1 that results in the complete loss of function, the present study was aimed towards the determination of the frequency distribution of GSTT1 and GSTM1 in agricultural workers in Punjab, India. The study aimed to investigate their contribution in susceptibility to increased disease risk. A total of 513 subjects were included in this study, out of which 250 were agriculture workers and 263 were non-exposed occupationally. GSTT1 and GSTM1 null-genotype distribution was analyzed through multiplex-PCR method. Complete gene deletion in either of the genes was strongly associated with an increased risk (OR = 1.8; 95% CI = 1.3–2.6; p < 0.0008) of DNA/cytogenetic damage, cancer, infertility, and many other serious health effects. Therefore, homozygous deletion in GSTT1 or GSTM1 could play a modulatory role in health of workers with long-term exposure to pesticides.
Full-text available
Article
In some rural areas in Argentina, adolescents may be considered as a group indirectly exposed to agrochemicals because their parents plant small crops near their homes. This could become a health risk to children and adolescents who may be more sensitive to exposure to chemicals than adults. The objective of this study was to evaluate the health status of two different groups of Argentinian adolescents using biochemical parameters, dietary information, and cytogenetic biomarkers of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity. The study groups included 32 adolescents from Montecarlo, who were indirectly exposed to agrochemicals, and 30 unexposed adolescents from Exaltación de la Cruz. The values of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, gamma glutamyltransferase, and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) were higher (p < 0.05) in males from Exaltación de la Cruz compared with those from Montecarlo. The BuChE activity was also higher (p < 0.05) in females from this region. Furthermore, the consumption of citrus, vegetable-like fruits, tubers, and red meat was more frequent (p < 0.05) in Montecarlo. On the other hand, differences in frequency of biomarkers of genetic damage in lymphocytes were not found (p > 0.05). However, the cytome assay in buccal cells showed that karyorrhectic and pyknotic cells were more frequent (p < 0.05) in the Montecarlo group; whereas, the frequencies of cells with nuclear buds, condensed chromatin and karyolysis were higher (p < 0.05) in the Exaltación de la Cruz group. Despite the differences between the parameters and biomarkers evaluated, the adolescents of Montecarlo did not present health impairment probably due to the type and level of exposure to agrochemicals.
Full-text available
Article
p,p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p, p’-DDE) and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) were two predominant organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) metabolites in human body associated with disorders of fatty acid metabolism. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully clarified. In this study, adult male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to low dose of p, p’-DDE and β-HCH for 8 wk. OCPs accumulation in organs, hepatic fatty acid composition, tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) metabolites and other metabolite profiles were analyzed. Expression levels of genes involved in hepatic lipogenesis and β-oxidation were measured. Mitochondrial function was evaluated in HepG2 cells exposed to OCPs. High accumulation of p, p’-DDE and β-HCH was found in liver and damaged mitochondria was observed under electron microscopy. Expression of genes in fatty acid synthesis increased and that in mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation decreased in OCPs treatment groups. OCPs changed metabolite profiles in liver tissues, varied hepatic fatty acid compositions and levels of several TCA cycle metabolites. Furthermore, MitoTracker Green fluorescence, ATP levels, mitochondrial membrane potential and OCR decreased in HepG2 cells exposed to OCPs. In conclusion, chronic exposure to OCPs at doses equivalent to internal exposures in humans impaired mitochondrial function, decreased fatty acid β-oxidation and aggravated disorders of fatty acid metabolism.
Full-text available
Article
Substantial resources have been devoted to mitigating the asset gender gap in developing country agriculture. Efforts have been taken to understand the role of women in decision making and in farm operations. Recommendations for best practices in eliciting information on women’s roles have emphasized the importance of sex-disaggregated data collection and analysis. Collection of sex-disaggregated data is not straightforward and careful attention to context is needed. In Ecuador’s highlands, chemical use in agriculture is widespread, and outreach and training programs to reduce this use are essential. These programs should target the appropriate decision makers.
Article
DNA and chromosomal damage in individuals occupationally exposed to coal mining residues have repeatedly been reported in lymphocytes and epithelial cells, suggesting a systemic exposure-response in which generation of oxidative damage may play a major role. Nevertheless, the understanding of this mechanism is still incomplete, particularly in regard to environmental exposures. This study aimed to evaluate DNA damage using the cytome assay (BMN-cyt) in buccal cells and its relation to primary and oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes, assessed by the high-throughput alkaline and modified (FPG-ENDO III) Comet assay in individuals with environmental exposure to coal mining residues in northern Colombia. Considering metals from coal mining activities as the main source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, the concentrations of inorganic elements in blood samples was also assessed. The analysis revealed that frequencies of BMN-cyt parameters related to DNA damage (micronuclei), cytokinesis (binucleated cells) and cell death (condensed chromatin, karyorrhexis, pyknosis and karyolysis) were significantly higher in individuals that were environmentally exposed to coal compared to the unexposed group. The level of % Tail DNA in the alkaline and the modified Comet assay was 4.0 and 4.3 times higher among exposed individuals than in unexposed controls respectively. Increased MN frequencies in buccal cells were correlated with increased %Tail DNA in alkaline and FPG Comet assay. Additionally, exposed individuals had higher concentrations of Cr, Ni, Mn, and Br in the blood compared to unexposed controls. %Tail DNA in alkaline Comet assay was highly correlated with Al, Mn, and Br concentrations, while %Tail DNA in the FPG Comet assay correlated with Mn levels. These results suggest that oxidative damage, particularly purine oxidation, may play an essential role in DNA damage in individuals exposed to coal residues and that some inorganic elements are related to this effect.
Article
We have previously demonstrated that maternal exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) leads to glutamate excitotoxicity in 15-day-old rat hippocampus. The present study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of subchronic exposure to GBH on some neurochemical and behavioral parameters in immature and adult offspring. Rats were exposed to 1% GBH in drinking water (corresponding to 0.36% of glyphosate) from gestational day 5 until postnatal day (PND)-15 or PND60. Results showed that GBH exposure during both prenatal and postnatal periods causes oxidative stress, affects cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in offspring hippocampus from immature and adult rats. The subchronic exposure to the pesticide decreased L-[(14)C]-glutamate uptake and increased (45)Ca(2+) influx in 60-day-old rat hippocampus, suggesting a persistent glutamate excitotoxicity from developmental period (PND15) to adulthood (PND60). Moreover, GBH exposure alters the serum levels of the astrocytic protein S100B. The effects of GBH exposure were associated with oxidative stress and depressive-like behavior in offspring on PND60, as demonstrated by the prolonged immobility time and decreased time of climbing observed in forced swimming test. The mechanisms underlying the GBH-induced neurotoxicity involve the NMDA receptor activation, impairment of cholinergic transmission, astrocyte dysfunction, ERK1/2 overactivation, decreased p65 NF-κB phosphorylation, which are associated with oxidative stress and glutamate excitotoxicity. These neurochemical events may contribute, at least in part, to the depressive-like behavior observed in adult offspring.