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Pesticide exposure, risk factors and health problems among cutflower farmers: a cross sectional study

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Author(s): Del Prado-Lu Jinky

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2007;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract This was a cross-sectional study which aimed to determine associations between hematologic indices such as red blood cell cholinesterase (RBC) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV), with illnesses related to pesticide exposure among cutflower farmers in La Trinidad, Benguet. One hundred two (102) randomly selected cutflower farmers underwent comprehensive, personal physical health and laboratory examinations and answered a questionnaire on work practices and illness. Majority were males (52%) and most belonged to the 20–35 age group (45%). Majority of exposed farmers were symptomatic, with most common complaints being headache (48%), easy fatigability (46.1%) and cough (40.2%). Analysis showed that RBC cholinesterase levels were positively associated with age (p = 0.02), and selling pesticide containers (p = 0.008). number of years of using pesticides (p = 0.022), use of contaminated cloth (p = 0.033), incorrect mixing of pesticides (p = 0.041), sex (p = 0.002) and illness due to pesticides (p = 0.005) were correlated with abnormal MCV. Significant associations were also found for hemoglobin, hematocrit, RBC, white blood cell (WBC) and platelet count. Predictors of RBC cholinesterase were years of pesticide use (p = 0.037) and abnormalities on health (p = 0.029). The findings of the study can be used for information dissemination and pesticide reduction programs for the cutflower farmers.

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