The objective of this study was to explore work-related risk factors of acute occupational pesticide poisoning among male farmers according to the severity of the poisoning. A nationwide sampling survey of male farmers was conducted in South Korea in 2011. A total of 1,958 male farmers were interviewed. Severity of occupational pesticide poisoning in 2010 was evaluated according to symptoms, types of treatment, and number of pesticide poisoning incidents per individual. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to estimate the odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals for risk factors of acute occupational pesticide poisoning. We found that the risk of acute occupational pesticide poisoning increased with lifetime days of pesticide application (OR = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.32-2.29), working a farm of three or more acres in size (OR = 1.49), not wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves (OR = 1.29) or masks (OR = 1.39). Those who engaged in inappropriate work behaviors such as not following pesticide label instructions (OR = 1.61), applying the pesticide in full sun (OR = 1.48), and applying the pesticide upwind (OR = 1.54) had a significantly increased risk of pesticide poisoning. There was no significant risk difference by type of farming. In addition, the magnitude of these risk factors did not differ significantly by severity of acute pesticide poisoning. In fact, our findings suggest that work-related risk factors contributed to the development of acute occupational pesticide poisoning without relation to its severity. Therefore, prevention strategies for reducing occupational pesticide poisoning, regardless of severity, should be recommended to all types of farming and the level of poisoning severity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis