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Poster-discussion: Pesticides
Cross shift changes in lung function among Palestinian farmers during low and high-exposure periods to pesticides: a longitudinal study
  1. Farid Abu Sham'a1,
  2. Marit Skogstad2,
  3. Khaldoun Nijem3,
  4. Espen Bjertness1,
  5. Petter Kristensen2
  1. 1University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2NIOH, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Hebron University, Hebron, Occupied Palestinian Territory


Objectives The purpose of this paper is to study cross-shift changes of lung function in relation to pesticides among a sample of male Palestinian farmers.

Methods One-hundred and ninety-five male farmers, from a total of 250 farmers performed lung function tests both pre- and post-shift during high and low pesticide exposure periods (September 2006 and April 2007, respectively). During the high exposure period in September 2006, all 195 farmers performed lung function tests pre-shift and 180 did post-shift tests. In 2007, 161, out of the initial 195 farmers, did a pre-shift and 134 did post-shift lung function test. Finally, a total of 115 (59%) farmers performed lung function tests on all four occasions. Manoeuvers were acceptable according to the ATS/ERS guidelines.

Results There were no associations between lung function differences across-shift and indicators of pesticides or dust. However, the cross-shift reduction in FEV1 (ΔFEV1) was more pronounced during the high-exposure period in comparison to the low-exposure period, +50 ml with 95% CI = (+24, +76) and +17 ml (CI= -13, +48) respectively. Among young (age ≤ 50) non-smoking farmers the cross-shift ΔFEV1 was +77 ml (CI= +23, +130) during the high-exposure period as compared to an increase of 8 ml (CI= -64, +50) during the low-exposure period.

Conclusions The reduction in FEV1 cross-shift in the high-exposure season was more evident, suggesting a possible obstructive effect of pesticide exposure on lung function among this rural male population in Palestine.

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