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IJESD 2020 Vol.11(5): 225-236 ISSN: 2010-0264
doi: 10.18178/ijesd.2020.11.5.1255

Association of Respiratory Impairment with Use of Anti-cholinesterase Pesticides in Migrant Fruit Farm Workers in Eastern Thailand

Anamai Thetkathuek, Teerayuth Sa-ngiamsak, and Panuwat Choedkiattikool

Abstract—Migrant farm workers are exposed to occupational hazards in terms of exposure to pesticides containing organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CM). In cases of mishandling of a pesticide, workers may be exposed to higher amounts of such toxic particles. Our study involved assessing factors related to respiratory disorders, including evidence of impaired lung function and respiratory system disorder symptoms (RSDS), in 274 migrant farm workers in Eastern Thailand. The experimental procedure involved interviews, as well as serum cholinesterase (SChE) and lung function assessments using a reactive paper blood test and spirometry, respectively. A multiple logistic regression analysis of independent variables and RSDS revealed an odds ratio (OR, 95% CI) of 2.787 (1.210, 6.470) in female subjects. Consumption of >4 glasses of alcohol/week and exposure to dust for >4 h/day were associated with an OR (95% CI) of 4.675 (1.395, 15.671) and 2.743 (1.238, 6.093), respectively. The multiple linear regression analysis of independent variables indicated that the SChE level, gender, age, and carrying of a sprayer were associated with as determined from the forced vital capacity (R = 0.579, R2 = 0.34; p < 0.05) and additionally associated with the forced expired volume in one second (R = 0.562, R2 = 0.315; p < 0.05). The assessment of respiratory system disorders is necessary for female farm workers who consume >3 glasses of alcohol/week, are older in age, and perform tasks that involve carrying a sprayer. Moreover, the SChE level should be routinely screened to monitor the health of migrant workers.

Index Terms—Migrant farm workers, cholinesterase level, respiratory impairment, lung function test, fruit farm, Thailand.

The authors are with the Department of Industrial hygiene and safety, Faculty of Public health, Burapha University, Chonburi 20131, Thailand (e-mail: anamai@buu.ac.th).

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Cite: Anamai Thetkathuek, Teerayuth Sa-ngiamsak, and Panuwat Choedkiattikool, "Association of Respiratory Impairment with Use of Anti-cholinesterase Pesticides in Migrant Fruit Farm Workers in Eastern Thailand," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 225-236, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-0264 (Print)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Environ. Sci. Dev.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJESD
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Richard Haynes
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Indexing: Scopus (since 2019), DOAJCrossref, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. 
  • E-mail: ijesd@ejournal.net