Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Work-related pesticide poisoning among farmers in two villages of Southern China: a cross-sectional survey

BMC Public Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-429
  • Research Article
  • Education
  • Mathematics


Background Pesticide poisoning is an important health problem among Chinese farm workers, but there is a paucity of pesticide poisoning data from China. Using the WHO standard case definition of a possible acute pesticide poisoning, we investigated the prevalence and risk factors of acute work-related pesticide poisoning among farmers in Southern China. Methods A stratified sample of 910 pesticide applicators from two villages in southern China participated in face-to-face interviews. Respondents who self-reported having two or more of a list of sixty-six symptoms within 24 hours after pesticide application were categorized as having suffered acute pesticide poisoning. The association between the composite behavioral risk score and pesticide poisoning were assessed in a multivariate logistic model. Results A total of 80 (8.8%) pesticide applicators reported an acute work-related pesticide poisoning. The most frequent symptoms among applicators were dermal (11.6%) and nervous system (10.7%) symptoms. Poisoning was more common among women, farmers in poor areas, and applicators without safety training (all p < 0.001). After controlling for gender, age, education, geographic area and the behavioral risk score, farmers without safety training had an adjusted odds ratio of 3.22 (95% CI: 1.86-5.60). The likelihood of acute pesticide poisoning was also significantly associated with number of exposure risk behaviors. A significant "dose-response" relationship between composite behavioral risk scores calculated from 9 pesticides exposure risk behaviors and the log odds of pesticide poisoning prevalence was seen among these Chinese farmers (R2 = 0.9246). Conclusions This study found that 8.8% of Chinese pesticide applicators suffered acute pesticide poisoning and suggests that pesticide safety training, safe application methods, and precautionary behavioral measures could be effective in reducing the risk of pesticide poisoning.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.