This article discusses the acute and chronic health effects of pesticide exposure among Filipino rice farmers. Data were collected from 50 farmers during 2002 and 2003 using a semi-structured questionnaire to elicit demographic information, various aspects of farming life, types and extent of pesticide use, exposure means, and self-reported acute and chronic illness experiences. Study participants had been farming for 20 years and applying an average of four to six pesticides approximately three times a year. The most common acute health problems reported by farmers were fatigue (52.0%), dizziness (50.0%), and body pain (32.0%). Farmers reported 43 different types of chronic health-related symptoms which were categorized as neurological (noted by 98.0% of farmers), dermal (90.0%), systemic (88.0%), respiratory (88.0%), ophthalmic (82.0%), gastrointestinal/renal (80.0%), and cardiovascular (56.0%). Chronic health problems were significantly lower for farmers who sold emptied pesticide containers (B=-3.479, p=0.01), for those with higher annual household incomes (B=-0.000, p=0.01), and for those who had attained vocational training compared to elementary school alone (B=6.101, p=0.02). Please see six tables of data following the article’s text.
The Applied Anthropologist, No. 1, Vol. 28, 2008, pp 40 - 59