This study aimed to determine the health effects of pesticide exposure in four municipalities of Benguet identified as a high exposure group. Data gathering was done using a structured personal interview using a 9 page questionnaire, physical examination of respondents by medical doctors, and blood extraction by a medical technologist for complete blood count, red blood cell cholinesterase, and serum creatinine. Environmental monitoring was done for water, soil, and vegetables for multi-pesticide residue. Results showed that among 400 farmers, 51.8% were males and 48.2% were females, majority belonged to the 36-50 age group. About 192 or 48% reported feeling sick because of work. Headache was the most common symptom experienced by the farmers followed by muscle pain, weakness and coughing. Blood pressure was the most abnormal finding followed by abnormalities in the ears, throat and eyes. Significan associations were seen between unsafe farming practices and health symptoms and physical abnormalities (p=0.05). Pesticides residues were found in 36 of the 93 soil samples which included cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, profenofos, chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, T endosulfan and endosulfan sulfate. 18.3% of the soil samples had endosulfan. 16.1% were positive for endosulfan sulfate and 2.2% was positive for T-endosulfan. Of the 58 water samples taken from rivers, creeks, irrigation and potable water sources, only one (1.72%) tested positive for pesticide residue. The value found in the creek water of municipality 2 at 0.07 mg/L exceeded the ambient water concentrations set by the EPA for fresh water in both acute and chronic situations. Vegetable residue was found in 16.67% of the total samples. The vegetable profenofos of about 1 mg exceeded the needed average daily intake of maximum of 0.0006 mg. Statistical analysis between weather conditions and pesticide residues showed the following- greater wind velocity causes greater pesticide residue; higher temperature causes higher pesticide residue; lower humidity in the ambient environemnt causes higher pesticides residues. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and encoded in SPSS 13 and GIS 3.2. Further evaluation of the health of farmers and environmental monitoring are recommended.
Objectives General Objective 1. To determine concentration of pesticides (organochlorine, organophosphate, carbamates, pyrethroids) in Benguet from four selected municipalities of the province. 2. To assess health of farmers exposed to pesticides in the four municipalities of Benguet. Specific Objectives 1. To determine the concentrations of pesticides in water, soil, and vegetables arising from farming activities in Benguet 2. To identify the most prevalent health problems among farmers exposed to pesticides. 3. To look into the association between work practices and pesticide exposure among farmers. 4. To determine the risk factors associated with health problems arising from pesticide exposure among farmers. 5. To determine the association between pesticide exposure and blood cholinesterase. 6. To identify certain weather and climatic conditions that may be associated with pesticide concentration.