Organophosphate exposure correlated with neuropsychiatric disturbances

Photo credit: Alachua county Photo credit: Alachua county

A recent study published in The Open Biochemistry Journal evaluated the incidence of exposure to organophosphate pesticides with neuro-cognitive impairment and mental health in 187 pesticide sprayers working on a mango plantation in India. Study participants completed a survey, underwent cognitive and mental health testing using the Subjective Neurocognitive Inventory and the General Health questionnaire – 28. The study found that pesticide applicators exposed to organophosphates were significantly more likely to experience anxiety, insomnia and depression, and to exhibit deficiencies in attention span, verbal memory, and spatial functioning. Finally, additional symptoms including (but not limited to) headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain and fatigue were positively correlated with the amount a study participant had been working with pesticides. “The toxic effect of pesticides on the occupational sprayer is a serious issue and precautionary measures must be taken to ameliorate their health status. The regulatory and monitoring system must be strict and effective to meet the challenge of indiscriminate use of lethal pesticides,” the authors concluded.