alexa Abstract | Self-reported Health Effects among Short and Long-term Pesticide Sprayers in Arusha, Northern Tanzania: A cross Sectional Study
ISSN: 2329-6879

Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
Open Access

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Research Article Open Access

Abstract

Background: The aim of the present study was to assess whether long-term exposure to pesticides is associated with adverse health effects in professional pesticide sprayers.

Methods: The study was conducted in Lake Eyasi Basin and Ngarenanyuki in Arusha region, during the dry season in September-October 2013. In a cross-sectional study, 97 short-term exposed men with at most three months as professional sprayers were compared with 60 long-term exposed men with experience of at least five years as professional sprayers. The study participants were aged 18-30 years, drawn from the same source population and interviewed using semi structured questionnaire. The questions focused on spraying procedures and on present and recurrent medical history including presence of selected six known pesticide induced health conditions.

Results: Organophosphates, carbamates, dithiocarbamates and pyrethroids were the most applied insecticides but also organochlorine fungicides and endosulfan were frequently applied. The majority of the sprayers reported unsafe pesticide use. Mean pesticide uses in litres, spray frequency per crop and per week were 637, and 1.3 respectively for about 270 days a year. Respiratory disease symptoms were the most frequently reported (46/157; 29.3%) followed by skin (27/157; 17.2%), and sight (24/157; 15.3%). When adjusted for age and other predictors, long-term exposed sprayers had significantly higher self-reported occurrences of peripheral neuropathy (OR=7.7, CI95%: 1.045-56.728, p=0.045) and respiratory disorders (OR=0.2, CI95%: 0.067-0.501, p=0.001) compared with short-term exposed. Furthermore, 10 sprayers, all long-term exposed reported poor libido and erection problems.

Conclusions: These findings document lack of safety knowledge, safe pesticide management and the implementation of protective measures as well as suggesting that long-term exposure to pesticides increase the risk of experience disease conditions compared to short-term exposure.

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Author(s): Wilbert Bunini Manyilizu, Robinson Hammerton Mdegela, Rudovick Kazwala, Mette Müller, Jan Ludvig Lyche and Eystein Skjerve.

Keywords

Exposure duration, Pesticides, Sprayers, Self-reported disease, Nursing Health Education, Industrial Hygiene

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