The use of pesticides undeniably comes with some risks. It is understood that people who work with pesticides typically have much higher exposure than general public. The present work evaluated the prevalence of adverse events occurring during occupational exposure as an estimation of health impact. Also associations with several demographic characteristics, lifetime exposure years, working practices and protection level, considering a personal protection equipment (PPE) index, were investigated. Our results shown that the study population is relatively young (34.9±11.04 y); 71% have up to 10 years of exposure and 80% are under 45 years of age, being 11.8% illiterate or with incomplete primary school. PPE is not adequate used in around 70% of the workers. Agrochemical prescription, indicated by an agricultural engineer, is only used by 38% of workers and the percentage of use of modern technologies (such as crop sprayers equipped with cabs and activated charcoal filter) is low. Forty four percent answered to have irritative symptoms (skin, eyes, nausea and vomiting) frequently, 35% requiring medical consultation and 5.4% hospitalisation. Other symptoms such as headache, tiredness, nervousness or depression were also reported. The lifetime exposure is associated with irritative signs, like headache, nervousness and depression and, the low protection, with irritative eye symptoms, headache, nervousness and depression. The use of modern application technologies was negatively associated with skin irritation. Low levels of PPE use, lifetime exposure and lack of safe environments with appropriate technologies, involves higher levels of cumulative exposure, resulting in greater negative impact on their health.
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