Abstract: Menia El-Kamh province of the Sharkia Governorate constitutes one of the largest agricultural areas in Egypt. About 88% of the nearly 472,000 people living in this province rely on agricultural activities for subsistence. Several pesticides including organochloride, organophosphorus, carbamate, and pyrethroid insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides are commonly used in citrus, vegetable and other crop-growing areas to increase agricultural productivity. However, their use has also been associated with several cases of pesticide poisoning. In this research, we conducted a field survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the farmer’s community regarding the safe use of pesticides. We also evaluated the residual concentrations of selected pesticides in water, soil, milk, fish, and orange samples, and estimated the potential health risks associated with the exposure to these pesticides. Data obtained from the field survey indicate that more than 95% of farm workers do not practice safety precautions during pesticide formulation and application; leading to a considerable prevalence of pesticide-related illnesses in this agricultural community. Pesticide residues in various environmental samples varied greatly; from below detection levels (3-5 ng) to as high as 325 ppb depending on the matrix of interest, and the specific pesticide of concern. The analysis of health risk estimates indicated that chlorpyrifos, DDT, dimethoate, methomyl, and larvin did not pose a direct hazard to human health, although present in water, milk, orange, and/or fish. However, aldicarb, and carbosulfan levels exceeded the reference doses, indicating a great potential for systemic toxicity, especially in children who are considered to be the most vulnerable population subgroup. The upper-bound values of cancer risk from DDT exposure were estimated to be about 8 (adults), and 55 (children) excess cancers in a population of one million.
Keywords: Pesticides; rural communities; Egypt; health risk assessment
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Tchounwou, P.B.; Ashour, B.A.; Moreland-Young, C.; Ragheb, D.A.; Romeh, A.A.; Goma, E.-A.; El-Sheikh, S.; Lidell, F.P.; Ibitayo, O.; Assad, J.-C. Health Risk Assessment of Pesticide Usage in Menia El-Kamh Province of Sharkia Governorate in Egypt. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2002, 3, 1082-1094.
Tchounwou PB, Ashour BA, Moreland-Young C, Ragheb DA, Romeh AA, Goma E-A, El-Sheikh S, Lidell FP, Ibitayo O, Assad J-C. Health Risk Assessment of Pesticide Usage in Menia El-Kamh Province of Sharkia Governorate in Egypt. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2002; 3(10):1082-1094.
Tchounwou, Paul B.; Ashour, Bassem A.; Moreland-Young, Curtina; Ragheb, Didair A.; Romeh, Ahmed A.; Goma, El-Adarosy; El-Sheikh, Sayed; Lidell, Frances P.; Ibitayo, Olurominiyi; Assad, Jean-Claude. 2002. "Health Risk Assessment of Pesticide Usage in Menia El-Kamh Province of Sharkia Governorate in Egypt." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 3, no. 10: 1082-1094.