Agricultural workers represent a population that is highly vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticide exposure. This cross sectional study aimed to describe the health conditions of terrestrial pesticide applicators in Córdoba Province, Argentina, their work practices and socio-demographic characteristics, by means of a standardized self-administered questionnaire (n = 880). A descriptive analysis reported a high prevalence of occasional or frequent symptoms: 47.4% had symptoms of irritation, 35.5% fatigue, 40.4% headache and 27.6% nervousness or depression. Using logistic regression models, risk and protective factors were found for symptoms of irritation, medical consultation and hospitalization. Among the occupational exposure variables, marital status, length of time in the job, low level of protection with regard to the use of personal protective equipment, combined use of different pesticides and the application of the insecticide endosulfan, were associated with a higher frequency of reported symptoms and higher consultation rates and hospitalization.
Pesticides; Occupational Diseases; Occupational Exposure