Special Issue "Occupational Pesticides Exposure"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Hanns Moshammer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, Vienna A-1090, Austria
Interests: environmental and occupational epidemiology; environmental health impact assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Hutter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, Vienna A-1090, Austria
Tel. +43-140160-34939
Interests: environmental and occupational epidemiology; environmental health impact assessment; child and adolescent public health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pesticides are a diverse group of substances that are designed to be toxic towards various “pests”. These range from herbicides (against plants) to insecticides and rodenticides (against insects and rodents), or fungicides (against moulds). Many metabolic pathways and structures of receptors have been conserved throughout evolution. Therefore it is not surprising that highly toxic substances against one life form often also pose a threat to other life forms including humans.

Public health concerns focus on highly persistent substances that might accumulate in the food chain and may disrupt endocrine function, which is difficult to foresee by simple toxicological tests. The human health effects of pesticide exposure have been most frequently studied in relation to occupational exposure. Public anxiety, on the other hand, often relates to media reports documenting the identification of pesticides in foods (e.g. recent scandal with residues of fipronil in eggs). Although the best evidence comes from studies of occupational health exposure, it is challenging to account for the confounder of multiple exposures (highly variable type of agents, intensity, duration and frequency). In addition, long-term data is difficult to obtain as participants are lost to follow up, and the worst outcomes (e.g. in developing countries) are often poorly documented.

Only a combined examination of occupational health studies, studies in environmental epidemiology, and experimental toxicological studies will inform public health and policy makers as to the best course towards the use or non-use of pesticides.

Prof. Dr. Hanns Moshammer
Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Hutter
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • insecticides
  • herbicides
  • fungicides
  • occupational exposure
  • public health
  • agriculture
  • countries of the Global South

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Pesticides Are an Occupational and Public Health Issue
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081650 - 03 Aug 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Subjective Symptoms of Male Workers Linked to Occupational Pesticide Exposure on Coffee Plantations in the Jarabacoa Region, Dominican Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102099 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Acute and sub-acute effects of pesticide use in coffee farmers have rarely been investigated. In the present field study, self-reported health symptoms from 38 male pesticide users were compared to those of 33 organic farmers. Results of cytological findings have been reported in [...] Read more.
Acute and sub-acute effects of pesticide use in coffee farmers have rarely been investigated. In the present field study, self-reported health symptoms from 38 male pesticide users were compared to those of 33 organic farmers. Results of cytological findings have been reported in an accompanying paper in this issue. The present second part of the study comprises a questionnaire based survey for various, potentially pesticide related symptoms among the coffee farmers. Symptom rates were generally higher in exposed workers, reaching significance in nine out of 19 assessed symptoms. Significantly increased symptom frequencies were related to neurotoxicity, parasympathic effects and acetylcholine esterase inhibition, with the highest differences found for excessive salivation, dizziness and stomach ache. We revealed a lack of precautionary measures in the majority of farmers. Better education, regulations, and safety equipment are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects of Pesticide Exposure in Male Coffee Farmworkers of the Jarabacoa Region, Dominican Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081641 - 03 Aug 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Intensive agrochemical use in coffee production in the Global South has been documented. The aim of this study was to investigate cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of pesticide exposure in male farmworkers in the Dominican Republic comparing conventional farming using pesticides to organic farming. [...] Read more.
Intensive agrochemical use in coffee production in the Global South has been documented. The aim of this study was to investigate cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of pesticide exposure in male farmworkers in the Dominican Republic comparing conventional farming using pesticides to organic farming. Furthermore, feasibility of the buccal micronucleus cytome assay (BMCA) for field studies under difficult local conditions was tested. In a cross-sectional field study, pesticide exposed (sprayers) and non-exposed male workers on coffee plantations were interviewed about exposure history, and pesticide application practices. Buccal cells were sampled, and BMCA was applied to assess potential effects on cell integrity. In total, 38 pesticide-exposed and 33 non-exposed workers participated. Eighty-four and 87%, respectively, of the pesticide-exposed respondents did not use masks or gloves at all. All biomarkers from the BMCA were significantly more frequent among exposed workers—odds ratio for micronucleated cells: 3.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.3–7.4) or karyolysis: 1.3 (1.1–1.5). Buccal cells as sensitive markers of toxic oral or respiratory exposures proved feasible for challenging field studies. Our findings indicate that the impact of pesticide use is not restricted to acute effects on health and wellbeing, but also points to long-term health risks. Therefore, occupational safety measures including training and protective clothing are needed, as well as encouragement towards minimal application of pesticides and more widespread use of organic farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle
Respiratory Condition of Family Farmers Exposed to Pesticides in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061203 - 08 Jun 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Pesticide exposure is a growing public health concern. Although Brazil is the world’s largest consumer of pesticides, only a few studies have addressed the health effects among farmers. This study aimed to evaluate whether pesticide exposure is associated with respiratory outcomes among rural [...] Read more.
Pesticide exposure is a growing public health concern. Although Brazil is the world’s largest consumer of pesticides, only a few studies have addressed the health effects among farmers. This study aimed to evaluate whether pesticide exposure is associated with respiratory outcomes among rural workers and relatives in Brazil during the crop and off-seasons. Family farmers (82) were interviewed about occupational history and respiratory symptoms, and cholinesterase tests were conducted in the crop-season. Spirometry was performed during the crop and off-season. Respiratory outcomes were compared between seasons and multiple regressions analysis were conducted to search for associations with exposure indicators. Participants were occupationally and environmentally exposed to multiple pesticides from an early age. During the crop and off-season, respectively, they presented a prevalence of 40% and 30.7% for cough, 30.7% and 24% for nasal allergies, and 24% and 17.3% for chest tightness. Significant associations between spirometry impairments and exposure indicators were found both during the crop and off-season. These findings provide complementary evidence about the association of pesticide exposure with adverse respiratory effects among family farmers in Brazil. This situation requires special attention as it may increase the risk of pulmonary dysfunctions, and the morbidity and mortality burden associated with these diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle
Pesticide Use and Asthma in Alberta Grain Farmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030526 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
A study of the respiratory health of grain farmers in Alberta, Canada was carried out in March 2002. Two populations were identified: members, in 1983, of a province-wide farm organisation, and grain farmers registered with the provincial agriculture department. A telephone interview addressed [...] Read more.
A study of the respiratory health of grain farmers in Alberta, Canada was carried out in March 2002. Two populations were identified: members, in 1983, of a province-wide farm organisation, and grain farmers registered with the provincial agriculture department. A telephone interview addressed pesticide use (using pre-circulated trade names), chronic disease and respiratory symptoms. Pesticide ingredients were identified from provincial crop protection guides. Total years of use were calculated for seven chemical groups. Consent for linkage to administrative health records was obtained in 2009. A likelihood score (Lscore) is computed, relating symptoms to asthma diagnosis. Self-reported asthma and the Lscore are examined against duration of pesticide exposures. Of the 10,767 farmers listed, 2426 were still living, had farmed grain and were interviewed; 1371 were re-contacted and matched to health records. After allowance for confounders, years of exposure to phenoxy compounds are related to self-reported asthma and Lscore. Compared to no exposure, the adjusted odds ratios (95% Confidence Intervals for self-reported asthma for short, medium and long exposure to phenoxy compounds are 1.29 (0.66–2.52), 2.52 (1.25–5.09), and 3.18 (1.54–6.58), and for Lscore are 1.19 (0.91–1.55), 1.50 (1.13–1.99), and 1.58 (1.18–2.12). We conclude that lifetime exposure to phenoxy herbicides is associated with an increased risk of asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
Open AccessArticle
Cocoa Farmers’ Compliance with Safety Precautions in Spraying Agrochemicals and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Cameroon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020327 - 13 Feb 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The inability of farmers to comply with essential precautions in the course of spraying agrochemicals remains a policy dilemma, especially in developing countries. The objectives of this paper were to assess compliance of cocoa farmers with agrochemical safety measures, analyse the factors explaining [...] Read more.
The inability of farmers to comply with essential precautions in the course of spraying agrochemicals remains a policy dilemma, especially in developing countries. The objectives of this paper were to assess compliance of cocoa farmers with agrochemical safety measures, analyse the factors explaining involvement of cocoa farmers in the practice of reusing agrochemical containers and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE). Data were collected with structured questionnaires from 667 cocoa farmers from the Centre and South West regions in Cameroon. Data analyses were carried out with Probit regression and Negative Binomial regression models. The results showed that average cocoa farm sizes were 3.55 ha and 2.82 ha in South West and Centre regions, respectively, and 89.80% and 42.64% complied with manufacturers’ instructions in the use of insecticides. Eating or drinking while spraying insecticides and fungicides was reported by 4.20% and 5.10% of all farmers in the two regions, respectively. However, 37.78% and 57.57% of all farmers wore hand gloves and safety boots while spraying insecticides in the South West and Centre regions of Cameroon, respectively. In addition, 7.80% of all the farmers would wash agrochemical containers and use them at home, while 42.43% would wash and use them on their farms. Probit regression results showed that probability of reusing agrochemical containers was significantly influenced (p < 0.05) by region of residence of cocoa farmers, gender, possession of formal education and farming as primary occupation. The Negative Binomial regression results showed that the log of number PPE worn was significantly influenced (p < 0.10) by region, marital status, attainment of formal education, good health, awareness of manufacturers’ instructions, land area and contact index. It was among others concluded that efforts to train farmers on the need to be familiar with manufacturers’ instructions and use PPE would enhance their safety in the course of spraying agrochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle
Biointeractions of Herbicide Atrazine with Human Serum Albumin: UV-Vis, Fluorescence and Circular Dichroism Approaches
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010116 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The herbicide atrazine is widely used across the globe, which is a great concern. To investigate its potential toxicity in the human body, human serum albumin (HSA) was selected as a model protein. The interaction between atrazine and HSA was investigated using steady-state [...] Read more.
The herbicide atrazine is widely used across the globe, which is a great concern. To investigate its potential toxicity in the human body, human serum albumin (HSA) was selected as a model protein. The interaction between atrazine and HSA was investigated using steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy, synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, three-dimensional (3D) fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The intrinsic fluorescence of HSA was quenched by the atrazine through a static quenching mechanism. Fluorescence spectra at two excitation wavelengths (280 and 295 nm) showed that the fluorescence quenched in HSA was mainly contributed to by tryptophan residues. In addition, the atrazine bound to HSA, which induced changes in the conformation and secondary structure of HSA and caused an energy transfer. Thermodynamic parameters revealed that this binding is spontaneous. Moreover, electrostatic interactions play a major role in the combination of atrazine and HSA. One atrazine molecule can only bind to one HSA molecule to form a complex, and the atrazine molecule is bound at site II (subdomain IIIA) of HSA. This study furthers the understanding of the potential effects posed by atrazine on humans at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Pesticides Exposure)
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