Organophosphate pesticides exposure among farmworkers: pathways and risk of adverse health effects

Suratman Suratman, John Edwards, Kateryna Babina

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Organophosphate (OP) compounds are the most widely used pesticides with more than 100 OP compounds in use around the world. The high-intensity use of OP pesticides contributes to morbidity and mortality in farmworkers and their families through acute or chronic pesticides-related illnesses. Many factors contributing to adverse health effects have been investigated by researchers to determine pathways of OP-pesticide exposure among farmers in developed and developing countries. Factors like wind/agricultural pesticide drift, mixing and spraying pesticides, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), knowledge, perceptions, washing hands, taking a shower, wearing contaminated clothes, eating, drinking, smoking, and hot weather are common in both groups of countries. Factors including low socioeconomic status areas, workplace conditions, duration of exposure, pesticide safety training, frequency of applying pesticides, spraying against the wind, and reuse of pesticide containers for storage are specific contributors in developing countries, whereas housing conditions, social contextual factors, and mechanical equipment were specific pathways in developed countries. This paper compares existing research in environmental and behavioural exposure modifying factors and biological monitoring between developing and developed countries. The main objective of this review is to explore the current depth of understanding of exposure pathways and factors increasing the risk of exposure potentially leading to adverse health effects specific to each group of countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-79
    Number of pages15
    JournalReviews on Environmental Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


    • biological monitoring
    • developed and developing countries
    • farmworkers
    • occupational exposure
    • organophosphate pesticides exposure


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