Occupational Pesticide Exposure and Respiratory Effects among Mosquito Control Workers in Kota Bharu and Bachok, Kelantan
Keywords:hazard, toxicity, risk assessment, respiratory symptoms, lung function
Pesticides have been widely used in public health to control mosquito breeding, causing occupational exposures. A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between pesticide exposure and respiratory health among 43 mosquito control workers in two vector control units in Kelantan by using purposive sampling. Pesticide risk assessment was based on the Chemical Health Risk Assessment (CHRA). A British Medical Research Questionnaire (BMRC) was used to assess respiratory symptoms and lung function was measured using a spirometer. The cumulative pesticide exposure of the individuals was calculated by taking the average number of fogging sessions per month. The risk level for all pesticides was moderate, except for Actellic 50EC. The most common respiratory symptoms were dyspnea (25.6%), cough (18.6%), phlegm (18.6%), and chest tightness (14.0%). Lung function was normal in 30%, restrictive in 45%, and obstructive in 25%. None of the reported respiratory symptoms and lung function values were associated with cumulative pesticide exposure (p>0.05). Past respiratory illness had a significant relationship with chest tightness (Adj OR=0.009, 95%CI: < 0.001 – 0.834). Age had a significant relationship with phlegm (Adj OR=1.259, 95% CI: 1.010 – 1.569). In conclusion, cumulative pesticide exposure did not relate to respiratory effects. However, mosquito control workers should be given proper training on pesticide handling and the effective usage of PPE to reduce occupational pesticide exposure.
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