Pesticide exposure and blood endosulfan levels after first season spray amongst farm workers in the Western Cape, South Africa

J Environ Sci Health B. 2009 Mar;44(3):271-7. doi: 10.1080/03601230902728351.


The study investigated serum endosulfan changes resulting from occupational exposure to the pesticide on farms. Eight applicators and 17 non-applicators were tested (serum endosulfan, anthropometry, short exposure questionnaire) before and after the first day of seasonal spraying. Task-based job exposure matrix (JEM) estimates were calculated. Mean baseline serum endosulfan (530 +/- 0.05 microg/L) was high. Increases in post-spraying endosulfan levels (IPSE) were higher in applicators (mean = 60 +/- 90 microg/L) than in non-applicators (mean = 3.5 x 10(- 6)+/- 90.0 microg/L) adjusting for age (beta = 54.0, p = 0.162, R(2) = 0.22). There was a weak positive relationship between IPSE and JEM estimates. IPSE occurred in applicators and non-applicators and were higher in applicators. The validity of the JEM weightings and characterization of other routes of pesticide exposure require further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endosulfan / blood*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pesticides / blood*
  • Seasons
  • South Africa


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Pesticides
  • Endosulfan