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Pesticide exposure among Bolivian farmers : associations between worker protection and exposure biomarkers

Barrón Cuenca, Jessika ; Tirado, Noemi ; Vikström, Max ; Lindh, Christian H. LU ; Steinus, Ulla ; Leander, Karin ; Berglund, Marika and Dreij, Kristian (2019) In Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Abstract

The use of pesticides has increased during the past decades, also increasing the risk of exposure to toxic pesticides that can cause detrimental health effects in the future. This is of special concern among farmers in low-to-middle-income countries that may lack proper training in the safe use of these chemicals. To assess the situation in Bolivia a cross-sectional study in three agricultural communities was performed (n = 297). Handling, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and pesticide exposure were assessed by a questionnaire and measurements of urinary pesticide metabolites (UPMs). Results showed that methamidophos (65%) and paraquat (52%) were the most commonly used pesticides and that 75% of the farmers combined several... (More)

The use of pesticides has increased during the past decades, also increasing the risk of exposure to toxic pesticides that can cause detrimental health effects in the future. This is of special concern among farmers in low-to-middle-income countries that may lack proper training in the safe use of these chemicals. To assess the situation in Bolivia a cross-sectional study in three agricultural communities was performed (n = 297). Handling, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and pesticide exposure were assessed by a questionnaire and measurements of urinary pesticide metabolites (UPMs). Results showed that methamidophos (65%) and paraquat (52%) were the most commonly used pesticides and that 75% of the farmers combined several pesticides while spraying. Notably, only 17% of the farmers used recommended PPEs while 84% reported to have experienced symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning after spraying. UPM measurements indicated high levels of exposure to chlorpyrifos, pyrethroids and 2,4D and that men generally were more highly exposed compared to women. Our study demonstrates that farmers who are better at following recommendations for pesticide handling and use of PPE had a significantly lower risk of having high UPM levels of most measured pesticides. Our results thus confirm the need of proper training of farmers in low-to-middle-income countries in proper protection and pesticide handling in order to reduce exposure levels and health problems.

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author
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85061921036
  • pmid:30787424
ISSN
1559-0631
DOI
10.1038/s41370-019-0128-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0973b86e-2ae9-4039-9bbb-f005a3bb6f50
date added to LUP
2019-03-04 11:03:43
date last changed
2020-04-02 02:22:10
@article{0973b86e-2ae9-4039-9bbb-f005a3bb6f50,
  abstract     = {<p>The use of pesticides has increased during the past decades, also increasing the risk of exposure to toxic pesticides that can cause detrimental health effects in the future. This is of special concern among farmers in low-to-middle-income countries that may lack proper training in the safe use of these chemicals. To assess the situation in Bolivia a cross-sectional study in three agricultural communities was performed (n = 297). Handling, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and pesticide exposure were assessed by a questionnaire and measurements of urinary pesticide metabolites (UPMs). Results showed that methamidophos (65%) and paraquat (52%) were the most commonly used pesticides and that 75% of the farmers combined several pesticides while spraying. Notably, only 17% of the farmers used recommended PPEs while 84% reported to have experienced symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning after spraying. UPM measurements indicated high levels of exposure to chlorpyrifos, pyrethroids and 2,4D and that men generally were more highly exposed compared to women. Our study demonstrates that farmers who are better at following recommendations for pesticide handling and use of PPE had a significantly lower risk of having high UPM levels of most measured pesticides. Our results thus confirm the need of proper training of farmers in low-to-middle-income countries in proper protection and pesticide handling in order to reduce exposure levels and health problems.</p>},
  author       = {Barrón Cuenca, Jessika and Tirado, Noemi and Vikström, Max and Lindh, Christian H. and Steinus, Ulla and Leander, Karin and Berglund, Marika and Dreij, Kristian},
  issn         = {1559-0631},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology},
  title        = {Pesticide exposure among Bolivian farmers : associations between worker protection and exposure biomarkers},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41370-019-0128-3},
  doi          = {10.1038/s41370-019-0128-3},
  year         = {2019},
}