Pesticide Exposure: The Case of Open-field and Greenhouse Workers

Jovita O. Esechie


A study was conducted among greenhouse and open field pesticide workers at the Batinah Coast of Oman in 2008 - 2009 to compare their level of pesticide exposure. A total of 74 greenhouse and 79 open field pesticide workers using pesticide mixtures consisting mostly of organophosphates were interviewed. Eighteen self-reported toxicity symptoms were recorded, with 9 and 3 of them being more prevalent among the greenhouse and open field workers, respectively. Although toxicity symptoms were generally higher among the greenhouse workers, it was observed that many of them indulged in smoking and gum chewing during pesticide application and these habits may have contributed to increased exposure. Most of the workers complained of discomfort when using protective devices, therefore it is recommended that protective materials adapted to the climate and socio-economic conditions of the pesticide workers be developed, and that they be encouraged to use them through appropriate educational efforts and incentives.

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