Assessment of the respiratory function of farmers exposed to pesticides in the municipality of Quilombo (state of Santa Catarina, Brazil): relationship between health and occupational protection


Introduction: Rural workers are exposed to various occupational risks, especially considering the exposure to pesticides. This exposure can lead to respiratory intoxications being the most frequent complaint by these professionals, which could be associated to the lack or improper use of personal protective equipment.

Objectives: To assess the respiratory function of rural workers exposed to pesticides in the municipality of Quilombo, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Methods: This study was quantitative, observational, and descriptive. Our sample consisted of 31 rural workers aged between 25 and 45 years and divided into 2 age groups; we aimed to assess the effect of the period of exposure to pesticides. The participants answered a questionnaire, followed by a respiratory function assessment including measurements of inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength using a manovacuometer, of peak expiratory flow with a peak flow meter, and of tidal volume with a ventilometer.

Results: The groups presented decreases in respiratory muscle strength, peak expiratory flow, and tidal volume.

Conclusions: The damage to expiratory function observed in the evaluated sample presents, as a main factor, the lack of personal protective equipment use; therefore, education and health strategies are needed to instrumentalize these workers and reduce the development of occupational risks.

Authors: Helber Luiz Bombardelli, Mariana Rossetto, Indiamara de Oliveira Flores Dal Magro Silvani, Vinícius José de Oliveira, Cléber Luis Bombardelli, César Augusto França-Abrahão
; Full Source: Revista brasileira de medicina do trabalho : publicacao oficial da Associacao Nacional de Medicina do Trabalho-ANAMT 2021 Apr 30;19(1):27-34. doi: 10.47626/1679-4435-2021-551.