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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123On-line version ISSN 1678-4561


ARAUJO, Alberto José de et al. Multiple exposure to pesticides and impacts on health: a cross-section study of 102 rural workers, Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.1, pp.115-130. ISSN 1413-8123.

A cross section study was carried out in a farming community from Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, to examine epidemiological, clinical and laboratory aspects of multiple exposure to pesticides in a representative sample of 102 small farmers. Both males and females were submitted to an extensive protocol which included an occupation questionnaire, biological sample collection for toxicology analysis and clinical - general and neurological - evaluation. The toxicology test results showed light to moderate episodes of acute intoxication by organophosphorates either described by the farmers or observed during clinical examination. Thirteen cases of delayed neuropathies (12,8%) as well as 29 cases of neural behavioral syndromes and psychiatric disorders associated to the continued use of pesticides were diagnosed. These results indicate recurrent multiple overexposures to high concentrations of different chemicals, with serious damage to vital functions, especially considering their young age (average 35 ± 11 years old) and the productive period in their lifetime. These results show how important it is to monitor multiple exposure to pesticides - a chain of events that may have major impacts on public health and the environment.

Keywords : Intoxication; Pesticides; Multiple application; Delayed-Neuropathy; Organophosphate pesticides.

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