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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SOUZA, Andressa de et al. Evaluation of the impact of exposure to pesticides on the health of the rural population: Vale do Taquari, State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.8, pp. 3519-3528. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000900020.
The scope of this cross-sectional study was to assess a possible link between contact with pesticides and the prevalence of chronic disease in the rural population in the south of Brazil. Three municipalities were randomly chosen. The sample selected was recruited over three months (2005) and was composed of 298 subjects of both sexes, between 18 and 65 years of age, who frequented public or private pharmacies for the purchase of medication. Data obtained by means of structured interviews revealed that 68.4% of those interviewed worked in rural activities, and 74.8% of these were members of families working in agriculture with contact with pesticides. The average age was 51+16.5 years of age for the interviewees with contact with pesticides and 50+17.9 years for those without contact. The sample was composed of 36.2% of men, and 57.7% of the individuals had more than four years of education. Direct or indirect contact with pesticides was associated with the report of several diseases, with neurological and oral diseases being the most prevalent. There was a link with painful conditions and individuals with contact with pesticides reported twice as many diseases. The data corroborate the literature and draw attention to the need for promoting measures to protect the health of the rural population.
Keywords : Pesticides; Agricultural workers and health.