Pesticide exposure reduces respiratory health

Photo credit: Kristian Bjornard Photo credit: Kristian Bjornard

A large-scale study from Ethiopia shows that occupational pesticide exposure is associated with reduced respiratory health, even in young workers who had been exposed to pesticides for a short time.  Researchers conducted two surveys examining over a thousand individuals to determine if pesticide exposure was associated with negative respiratory outcomes. The first survey found that exposure to pesticides increased the risk of chronic cough and shortness of breath. The second survey confirmed that exposure to pesticides was linked to reduced respiratory health, showing that lung health was compromised more frequently in workers who had been exposed to pesticides.  The study was conducted on young workers, with an average age of 27 years, who only had exposure events over four years, so this study highlights how rapidly exposure to pesticides can have negative impacts on people who come into contact with them.