Symptoms developed by Indian farm workers exposed to pesticides during spraying operations in agriculture – as are farm workers in almost all countries

The World Resources Institute recorded in the 90s that though the volume of pesticides used in developing countries is small relative to that in developed countries, it is growing steadily.

Denmark, Norway and Sweden control use far more strictly than other countries.

Title: Visual disturbances with cholinesterase depletion due to exposure of agricultural pesticides among farm workers (India) –
(America’s National Agricultural Safety Database refers to cholinesterase as a cleansing enzyme and indicates that higher exposure levels have even more serious consequences – see final snapshots)

Authors: M.Fareed, C. N. Kesavachandran, M.K. Pathak, V. Bihari, M. Kuddus, A.K. Srivastava

Source: Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry, 2012


In this study, risk assessment for visual disturbances among farm workers spraying agricultural pesticides in farms have been assessed.

A cross-sectional study for the assessment of visual disturbances was undertaken using questionnaire survey and clinical examination among agricultural workers exposed to pesticides. Two hundred and thirty nine pesticide sprayers participated in the study.

The study was compared to 110 controls not occupationally exposed to pesticides with similar socio-economic status. The prevalence of ocular morbidity was found to be 40% among pesticide sprayers which was significantly higher (p<0.01) as compared to controls.

The symptoms among morbid subjects were found to be blurred vision, lacrimation, pain in eyes, red swollen eyes, and irritation of eyes. Exposure wise assessment of ocular symptoms among pesticide sprayers illustrates that exposure time elevates the ocular problems among sprayers. The cholinesterase activity was found to be significantly depleted (p<0.01) among pesticide sprayers as compared to controls which show the exposure of organophosphate pesticides among them.

The visual disturbances observed among pesticide sprayers clearly exhibit that eyes get exposed to pesticides during spraying operations in agriculture and eventually get affected leading to ocular illness.

The link to this information was sent by pesticide-affected Richard Bruce.

Thanks are also due to Peter Evans, Chairman, Organophosphates Group North West (left) who forwarded it.


 America’s National Agricultural Safety Database –snapshot:

Next: a summary of Devinder Sharma’s article on an allied subject in Ground Reality at 9/14/2012 12:39:00 PM


One response to “Symptoms developed by Indian farm workers exposed to pesticides during spraying operations in agriculture – as are farm workers in almost all countries

  1. The British Medical Dictionary of Diseases 2002 page 419 gives the full symptoms and treatment of organophosphate poisoning. Pity DEFRA NEVER TOLD THE SHEPHERDS!

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