Occupational exposure of rural workers to pesticides in a vegetable-producing region in Brazil


The health of family farmers is at risk due to occupational exposure to pesticides. The aims of the current study were to investigate the level of farmers’ perception of risks associated with pesticide use and to assess their health condition based on biochemical and immunological tests. Family farmers living in a vegetable-producing region in Southern Brazil were selected to participate in the study. More than 70% of the family farmers were often exposed to more than one type of pesticides; 41.2% were intensively using several pesticides for more than one decade and 74.4% were not using personal protective equipment (PPE) at the time of pesticide handling due to low perception of the risks posed by these chemicals. Enzymatic analysis performed in participants’ blood samples showed changes in catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) activity, in lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and carbonylated protein levels, as well as in chemoattractant (IL-8) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) interleukin expression. Low perception of health-related risks posed by pesticides can be attributed to factors such as low schooling and lack of information, which put farmers’ health at risk, as evidenced by blood biochemical and immunological changes.

Authors: Eloisa Lovison Sasso, Roberta Cattaneo, Tamiris Rosso Storck, Mariana Spanamberg Mayer, Voltaire Sant’Anna, Barbara Clasen
; Full Source: Environmental science and pollution research international 2021 Jan 20. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12444-5.