Pesticide poisoning cases in Ankara and nearby cities in Turkey: an 11-year retrospective analysis

J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 May;20(4):274-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Abstract

Since they are available in open markets and pharmacies, pesticides have been widely used all over the country. (Un)intentional poisoning with these compounds is one of the most common causes of chemical poisoning, especially in rural agricultural areas. Pesticide poisonings reported by various countries showed that it is a worldwide health problem with 250,000-370,000 associated deaths each year. In this study, medico-legal deaths between the years 2001 and 2011 in Ankara and nearby cities in Turkey were investigated retrospectively. The autopsies were partly carried out by Ankara Branch of Council of Forensic Medicine. Data were collected from reports of the Morgue Department whose toxicological analyses were performed in the Chemistry Department. The data revealed that 70 cases out of 10,720 autopsied ones had been attributed to fatal pesticide poisoning. The age range was 1-80 years (mean ± SD, 41.33 ± 17.42 years). Most of the cases (60%) were reported from Ankara. Insecticides were the most common (94%) cause of fatal pesticide poisonings, most of them (63%) being organophosphate insecticides. The percentages of pesticide-induced deaths are quite high in our society and should therefore not be underestimated. Accordingly, intensive efforts to reduce occupational and intentional pesticide poisonings are urgently needed in Ankara and nearby cities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pesticides / poisoning*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Pesticides