Impact of organophosphate exposure on farmers’ health in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta: Perspectives of physical, emotional and social health
The exposure of organophosphate could be caused by the absorption in some parts of the body like skin and breath. Toxicity may cause nausea, vomiting and dizziness which are not too specific related with the pesticide toxicity. The purpose of this study is to understand the association between organophosphate exposure and farmers’ health in Kulon Progo County from the perspectives of physical, emotional and social health.
This study was conducted using descriptive observational design. The blood sample was collected during harvesting periods in 2016. The inclusion criterion of farmers was using organophosphate-contained pesticide during the planting period of red onion. The farmers who had renal disease, liver disease and cancer were excluded. The organophosphate exposure parameters were the duration and frequency of pesticide application, width of the area, serum cholinesterase activity and the completeness of personal protective equipment.
Among 84 farmers, most of them were male (85.7%), and the mean age was 49.1 (standard deviation: 12.5) years; 71.4% of the subjects experienced tremor, 17.86% experienced dizziness and 8.33% subjects experienced nausea–vomiting after pesticide application. According to the pesticide application, in average, subjects used pesticide 1.4 h/day with the area of 1.285 m2. The frequency of pesticide used is three times per week. Around 97.6% subjects used incomplete personal protective equipment. The average of serum cholinesterase activity in subjects with tremor is higher than subjects without tremor (p > 0.05). There is a significant association between serum cholinesterase activity and creatinine content (p < 0.05). The farmers’ quality-of-life domain scores are lower than the scores of the normal population in Yogyakarta.
Organophosphate exposure may affect the farmers’ physical health and quality of life.