The burden of acute pesticide poisoning and pesticide regulation in Korea

Seulki Ko, Eun Shil Cha, Yeongchull Choi, Jaeyoung Kim, Jong Hun Kim, Won Jin Lee

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Background: This study aimed to estimate the burden of acute pesticide poisoning and to determine its trend with recently implemented pesticide regulations. Methods: Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLLs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) due to acute pesticide poisoning using the methods of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The values of YLLs, YLDs, and DALYs were stratified by sex, age groups, intentionality of poisoning, and causative agents. Results: From 2006 to 2014, DALYs decreased by 69% (from 69,550 to 21,742). The decreasing tendency of DALYs was especially marked from 2011. The total burden of acute pesticide poisoning was mainly caused by YLLs and intentional pesticide poisoning. The highest DALYs due to acute pesticide poisoning occurred in those in their 40s and 50s; however, the decreased rates of DALYs were higher in those aged 10-49 years than in those aged more than 50 years. Herbicides including paraquat contributed to the largest proportion of total DALYs. Conclusion: As this is the first study to quantify the burden of acute pesticide poisoning using DALYs, our results provide comprehensive evidence of the importance of using strict regulations to prevent public health hazards due to acute pesticide poisoning.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere208
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1



  • Agrochemicals
  • Burden of illness
  • Paraquat
  • Poisoning
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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