Incidence of Acute Occupational Pesticide Poisoning Among Male Farmers in South Korea
- Alternative Author(s)
- Kim, Jae Young
- Publication Year
- Background Pesticide poisoning from agricultural labor has been recognized as a
major public health problem among farmers worldwide. The objective of this study
was to examine the incidence of acute occupational pesticide poisoning among male
farmers in South Korea.
Methods A nationwide sampling survey of male farmers was conducted in South
Korea. This survey used a stratiﬁed multistage probability sampling design and
adopted the face-to-face interview method. A total of 1,958 male farmers were inter-
viewed in order to estimate the incidence of acute occupational pesticide poisoning in
rural areas in 2010. Based on a self-reported deﬁnition, the incidence rate in 2010
and the lifetime hospitalization rate due to acute occupational pesticide poisoning
among male farmers were estimated.
Results The incidence rate of acute occupational pesticide poisoning was 24.7
(95% CI 22.1–27.2) per 100 male farmers, which corresponds to 209,512 cases across
South Korea in 2010. About 12% of the pesticide poisoning cases included either visit-
ing a medical doctor or hospitalization. The lifetime rate of hospitalization due
to occupational pesticide poisoning was 6.1 (95% CI 4.9–7.3) among male farmers.
Poisoning occurred mainly when farmers were applying pesticides during summer.
Conclusion Our nationwide sampling survey demonstrated that acute occupational
pesticide poisonings are highly prevalent among male South Korean farmers. Intensive
intervention efforts to reduce occupational pesticide poisoning are urgently needed in
South Korea. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:799–807, 2012.
ß 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
KEY WORDS: agricultural workers; epidemiology; occupational disease; pesticide;
poisoning; sampling study
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