Higher mortality risk of lungs carcinoma in vineyard sprayers.
This study investigated mortality rate of lungs carcinoma in professional vineyard sprayers. Clinical investigation was performed in 187 professional vineyard sprayers who had been exposed to the inhalation of the particles of Bordeaux mixture for 24 years on average. Bordeaux Mixture is used for prevention against mildew attacking vineyards. The control group was composed of 187 inhabitants of the same area who did not have any contact with the mentioned substance. A cytological investigation of the sputum specimens obtained from 104 tested inhabitants was performed. The sputum specimens were stained with standard haematoxylin-eosin method and also with special method (rubeanic acid) to prove the incidence of copper granules in macrophages. The findings show a considerable statistical difference in the frequency of occurrence of lungs carcinoma between the group of vineyard sprayers smokers and the control group (X2=4.77,p<0.01). The risk of lungs carcinoma in the vineyard sprayers was three times higher compared to the risk of smokers in the control group, with a statistical probability of 95% in the scope from 1.16<RR<7.78. Mortality risk of lungs carcinoma in the professional vineyard sprayers is significantly higher (p<0.01) compared to the risk in the control group.
Available from: Michael Komárek
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ABSTRACT: The contamination of agricultural soils with inorganic (Cu-based) and organic pesticides (including their residues) presents a major environmental and toxicological concern. This review summarizes available studies published on the contamination of vineyard soils throughout the world with Cu-based and synthetic organic fungicides. It focuses on the behavior of these contaminants in vineyard soils and the associated environmental and toxicological risks. The concentrations of Cu in soils exceed the legislative limits valid in the EU in the vast majority of the studied vineyards. Regarding the environmental and toxicological hazards associated with the extensive use of fungicides, the choice of fungicides should be performed carefully according to the physico-chemical properties of the soils and climatic and hydrogeological characteristics of the vine-growing regions.
Available from: Agnes Michalczyk
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ABSTRACT: Copper-based compounds have been used as agricultural fungicides for many years. Their use in Australia is escalating with increase in the scale of planting and associated pest problems. The objective of this study was to identify viticulture activities associated with high exposure to foliage sprays. It would be determined if occupational exposure of vineyard workers to copper-based sprays was associated with raised body copper levels through analysis of saliva and buccal cells.
The activities of six vineyard workers from four vineyards in the Yarra Valley Victoria, Australia, were monitored over a period of 2 years. During this period, workers carried out seasonal activities, including fungicide spraying, canopy management, and tractor operation. Saliva and buccal cells from workers were collected and analysed for copper levels that were then correlated with the different types of vineyard activity.
The buccal cells of vineyard workers exposed to copper through seasonal activities including fungicide spraying, canopy management, and tractor operation contained copper levels of 0.87, 1.24, and 0.95 ng Cu per 10(6) cells, respectively. This was up to 10-fold higher than the copper levels in buccal cells from the control subjects (0.1 ng Cu per 10(6)). Copper levels in buccal cells from workers participating in other viticulture activities such as shoot thinning, bunch counting, and disbudding were not significantly different from those of control subjects. The levels of copper in saliva samples of both workers undertaking any vineyard activity and control subjects were below the level of detection.
Seasonal activities undertaken in vineyards that involved direct contact with copper, in particular canopy management, fungicidal spraying, and tractor operation were associated with high copper levels in buccal cells of workers. This indicates that copper derived from copper-based fungicidal compounds is accumulated within body cells. The lack of detectable copper levels in saliva suggests that the route of transport of copper into buccal cells is not through saliva. The results indicate potential adverse health risks associated with use of copper fungicide. Recommendations are made in relation to the precautions that should be taken in relation to use of copper sprays and to validate buccal cells as an indicator of body copper status.
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