Aims The target site is Benguet, Philippines which is the largest vegetable producer in the Philippines. There are about 27.5 thousand farms covering 30 thousand hectares of agricultural land in Benguet. The province is known as the ‘salad bowl’ of the Philippines as its major crops are tubers, roots and bulbs, and leafy vegetables, stems and flowers.
This is a study conducted among 534 farmers in six municipalities in an agricultural area engaged in vegetable industry. It assessed the pesticide exposure and work practices of farmers, and identified physical and neurological health status of the farmers.
Methods Survey questionnaires look into pesticide exposures and work practices of the farmers. Physical health assessment was conducted by medical doctors from Baguio. Laboratory examination of blood was also done.
Results Majority were males (53.4%), married (80.5%) with a mean age of 47 years old. 40.9% who underwent the physical examination were diagnosed to have abnormal assessment results. Analyses indicated that pesticide use and risk factors were found to have association at p = 0.05 with easy fatigability, weight loss, loss of appetite, cerebellar function, creatinine levels, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin count, and platelet count. Conclusion. These results underscore the need to improve protection measures so as to reduce the exposure of the population and environment to pesticides.
- neurological assessment
- health problems
- RBC cholinesterase