Study of respiratory impairment among pesticide sprayers in Mango plantations

Am J Ind Med. 1989;16(5):529-38. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700160506.


Pulmonary function studies were conducted on 489 pesticide workers engaged in spraying operations on mango plantations. These workers were exposed to a variety of organochlorine and organophosphorus pesticides. A reference group consisting of 208 controls, belonging to the same socioeconomic stratum, was taken from the same area for purposes of comparison. The results of the study showed 36.5 and 41.5% prevalence of respiratory impairment in the exposed workers and in the controls, respectively. The most common pulmonary impairment among the exposed subjects (18.8%) and controls (16.9%) was of the restrictive type, followed by mixed ventilatory defect. Bronchial obstruction affected 2.5 and 3.7% of the exposed and control populations, respectively. In a comparison of the prevalence of total respiratory impairment in the pesticide workers and the controls, the nonsmokers did not show any significant difference in this study. The prevalence rate of respiratory impairment showed an increasing trend in different exposure groups (p less than 0.05), thereby clearly indicating a dose effect. The study revealed that occupational exposure to pesticides had a direct bearing on the respiratory impairment identified in the exposed workers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated*
  • India
  • Insecticides / adverse effects*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organophosphorus Compounds*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Time Factors


  • Aerosols
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Insecticides
  • Organophosphorus Compounds