Respiratory and Dermal Symptoms and Raised Serum Concentrations of Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress among Pesticide Retailers

Hamed Jalilian, Masoud Neghab, Mohsen Tatar, Shekoufeh Taheri


Background: Recently concern has been raised regarding possible health effects resulting from exposure of a group of pesticide retailers to chemicals they handle.

Objective: To investigate the prevalence of respiratory and dermal symptoms, as well as biomarkers of oxidative stress, among pesticide retailers and to compare them with those of an unexposed comparison group.

Methods: 70 male pesticide retailers and 64 male construction workers (served as the comparison group) were investigated. Blood samples were taken from all participants to assess the biomarkers of oxidative stress. A data sheet and the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II questionnaire were used to determine the prevalence of dermal and respiratory disorders, respectively.

Results: After adjusting for age, weight, height, education level, job tenure, average daily work, presence of family history of respiratory diseases, marital status, smoking status, and number of cigarettes smoked per day, we found that wheezing (OR 4.07, 95% CI 1.17 to 14.17), cough (OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.15 to 9.98), and mucus hypersecretion (OR 3.66, 95% CI 1.45 to 9.05) were significantly more prevalent among pesticide retailers compared with the comparison group. The prevalence of tingling and dryness of skin exposed individuals was significantly higher than unexposed participants. The mean serum concentrations of glutathione and malondialdehyde in the exposed group were significantly higher than those in the comparison group.

Conclusion: Occupational exposure to low doses of a mixture of pesticides by retailers was associated with increased prevalence of dermal and respiratory symptoms as well as raised concentrations of biomarkers of oxidative stress.


Signs and symptoms, respiratory; Dermatitis, contact; Oxidative stress; Pesticides

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2018.1417

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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