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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Pesticide Exposures among Women Farmers in Mae Wang, Thailand

Vincent Merrill, PhD, Department of Health Science, California State University Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92834-6870, 714.278.5649, vmerrill@fullerton.edu and Erica Sandoval, BS, School of Community Health, Portland State University, 2313 N. Sumner St., Portland, OR 97207.

Background: Communities in developing countries are being affected by the use of agrochemicals for favorable crop yields. Predominantly, research has focused on the effects that this change has had on male farmers and educational programs have helped to address the problem. Women of these communities, however, maintain various negative health effects and a low level of knowledge about pesticides. Objectives: This study will assess the environmental exposure of pesticides in women in a rural farming village in Thailand. Pesticide use and practices will be compared to pesticide levels to evaluate risks for this population. Methods: Eighty-five Thai women where recruited from the farming community of Ban Kad in the district of Mae Wang, Thailand. Participants were surveyed on demographic characteristics, pesticide use, farming practices, domestic practices, and health affects associated with pesticide use in order to assess possible environmental exposure to pesticides and poisoning. Blood samples from the participants were also screened for cholinesterase inhibition, indicators of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Results: Blood screening revealed that 36.5% of the women had “Risky” or “Unsafe/Dangerous” levels of cholinesterase inhibiting chemicals present. Further analysis determined that certain farming practices were significantly associated with elevated exposure levels. Conclusions: Although certain farming practices were associated with the risk of pesticide poisoning, many women had elevated levels of cholinesterase without obvious exposures. This implies the reduction of pesticide exposure will require more than educating and protecting male farmers and demonstrates the need for further investigation for exposures to women in farming communities in developing regions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Water and the Environment: Affecting Health Across Borders

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA