Effects of pesticide applications on respiratory health of Ethiopian farm workers

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2002 Jan-Mar;8(1):35-40. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2002.8.1.35.


The effects of pesticide use on the respiratory health of agricultural farm workers were studied in 203 farm workers and 131 controls. The farm workers were sprayers, supervisors, technicians, and pest assessors. Pulmonary function was found to be remarkably poor among the non-smoker supervisors, followed by the non-smoker sprayers, as compared with that of the non-smoker controls. The means (SD) of FVC and FEV1 for supervisors and sprayers were 2.88 (0.41), 3.05(0.50) and 2.74(0.38), 2.89(0.54), respectively, p < 0.05. The non-smoker technicians had the most respiratory symptoms, with wheezing and breathlessness being the most frequent (35.7% in 14 technicians). Farm workers with various job experiences are subject to reduction of pulmonary function and frequent complaints of respiratory symptoms that could possibly lead to chronic respiratory health problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Ethiopia
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pesticides / adverse effects*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced*


  • Pesticides