228853 Evaluating Health Effects Among Adolescent Pesticide Applicators

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ahmed Ismail, PhD , Public Health and Community Medcine Department, Menoufia University, Shebin Elkom, Egypt
Gaafar M. Abdel Rasoul, MD , Public Health and Community Medcine Department, Menoufia University, Shebin Elkom, Egypt
Diane Rohlman, PhD , Center for Reseach on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET), Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR
Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides are used extensively in agriculture throughout the world. The pesticide application to the cotton crop is highly regulated and standardized across Egypt, and is limited primarily to OP pesticides, generally chlorpyrifos, in recent years. There is compelling evidence that repeated (chronic) low-level occupational and environmental pesticide exposures are associated with neurobehavioral performance deficits in adults. Adolescents working in agriculture are exposed to the same risks as adults but it is unknown whether their risk is equivalent to or greater than that of adults. Adolescents in Egypt are legally hired as seasonal workers to apply pesticides to the cotton crop. The aim of this study is to evaluate the methods used to assess health effects among adolescent pesticide applicators in Egypt and measure these health effects. Methods used to evaluate health effects were pilot tested in adolescent pesticide applicators (N=15) and controls (N=16). Participants completed computer-based neurobehavioral tests, an occupational and symptoms questionnaire and a medical exam. Blood and urine samples were collected to evaluate biomarkers of OP exposure. The preliminary results show that the adolescent pesticide applicators did worse in some of the neurobehavioral tests than controls, and the applied methods are appeared acceptable to and suitable for this population. Observational data provide evidence of potential for high exposures which need to be confirmed with biomarker data.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the methods used to measure health hazards of exposure to pesticide as a result of working in pesticide application. Assess health effects of pesticide exposure in adolescent applicators.

Keywords: Pesticide Exposure, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am the lead investigator of the project in Egypt and oversee all the project processes
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.