Assessment of pesticide residues in blood samples of agricultural workers in Egypt
Shehata Shalaby 1, A-D,F  
,   Gehan Abdou 1, A-B,D,F
More details
Hide details
Pests and Plant Protection Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article
Shehata Shalaby   

Pests and Plant Protection Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt
Submission date: 2020-06-26
Acceptance date: 2020-08-10
Online publication date: 2020-11-13
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2020;60(4):369–376
The aim of this study was to monitor pesticide residues in the blood of agricultural workers (farmers, pesticide dealers, and spraying workers) living in the Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt. Residue analysis revealed that 48, 76, and 84% of the farmers, pesticide dealers, and spraying workers had pesticide residues in their bloods, respectively. Eleven compounds were detected in the blood of examined individuals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, most of these pesticides (nine pesticides) were in moderately hazardous compounds. Carbofuran, a highlyhazardous compound was the most toxic. The compound with the lowest toxicity was hexytiazox, which is unlikely to pose an acute hazard in normal use. Chlorpyrifos was found in the blood of 38.3% of the study subjects, followed by acetamiprid (11.7%) and profenofos (10.7%), while fenvalerate was the lowest occurring compound (1.3%). Of the collected samples 41.3% was free of pesticide residues, while 58.7% of the samples was contaminated. Furthermore, the amounts of all detected pesticides were below the no observable adverse effect levels (NOAEL). Also, 38.7% of the samples had only one pesticide, while 8% of them contained residues of two pesticides, and 5.3% contained more than two compounds. The worker’s age did not affect the accumulations of pesticide residues in their bodies. However, there was a strong correlation between pesticide residues accumulation and an individual’s exposure time. Therefore, from these results it can be seen that encouraging greater awareness among pesticide users of the need to improve safe usage and handling of pesticides by education, advice, and warning them of the risks involved in the misuse of these poisonous materials is highly recommended.
The authors wish to thank to the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt, for funding this project.
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
This research was a part of a project titled “Prevention Practices for Occupational Workers from Adverse Effects of Pesticides and the Safe Disposal of Expired Compounds” funded by Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt during 2016–2018.
Abdel-Daim M.M., Abd Eldaim M.A., Mahmoud M.M. 2014. Trigonella foenum-graecum protection against deltamethrin-induced toxic effects on haematological, biochemical and oxidative stress parameters in rats. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 92 (8): 1–7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjpp.
Abu Mourad T. 2005. Adverse impact of insecticides on the health of Palestinian farm workers in the Gaza Strip: A hematologic biomarkers study. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 11: 144–149. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/oeh.20....
Agricultural Pesticides Committee (APC), Egypt. 2019. Available on: http://www.apc.gov.eg/AR/.
Anonymous. 2004. The e-Pesticide Manual Version 3.0 2003 – 04. Thirteen ed. BCPC (British Crop Protection Council). Available on: https://www.bcpc.org/product/b... [Accessed: 11 February 2018].
Anonymous. 2018. EU Pesticides Database. Available on: https://ec.europa.eu/food/plan... [Accessed: 2 November 2018].
Arshad M., Siddiqa M., Rashid S., Hashmi I., Awan M.A., Ali M.A. 2016. Biomonitoring of toxic effects of pesticides in occupationally exposed individuals. Safety and Health at Work 7: 156–160. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw....
Atreya K. 2008. Health costs from short-term exposure to pesticides in Nepal. Social Science and Medicine 67: 511–519. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socs....
Banday M., Dhar J.K., Aslam S., Qureshi S., Jan T., Gupta B. 2012. Determination of pesticide residues in blood serum samples from inhabitants of “Dal Lake” hamlets in J&K, India (2008–2010). International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 4 (5): 389–395.
Bedi J.S., Gill J.P., Kaur P., Sharma A., Aulakh R.S. 2015. Evaluation of pesticide residues in human blood samples from Punjab. Veterinary World 8 (1): 66–71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14202/vetwo....
Bonmatin J.M., Giorio C., Girolami V., Goulson D., Kreutzweiser D.P., Krupke C., Tapparo A. 2015. Environmental fate and exposure; neonicotinoids and fipronil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22 (1): 35–67. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356... 3332-7.
Costat Statistical Software. 1990. Microcomputer program analysis Version 4.20, Cohort Software, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Damalas C.A., Eleftherohorinos I.G. 2011. Pesticide exposure safety issues and risk assessment indicators. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8: 1402–1419. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph....
Ecobichon D.J. 2001. Pesticide use in developing countries. Toxicology 160: 27–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0300-... (00)00452-2.
Huen K., Bradman A., Harley K., Yousefi P., Barr D.B., Eskenazi B., Holland N. 2012. Organophosphate pesticide level in blood and urine of women and newborns living in an agricultural community. Environmental Research 117: 8–16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envr....
Hurtig A.K., Sebastian M.S., Soto A., Shingre A., Zambrano D., Guerrero W. 2003. Pesticide use among farmers in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador. Archives of Environmental Health 14 (58): 223–228. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3200/AEOH.5....
Imran H., Dilshad K.A. 2011. Adverse health effects of pesticide exposure in agricultural and industrial workers of developing country. p. 155–178. In: “Pesticides – The Impacts of Pesticides Exposure”. Intech Open. DOI: 10.5772/13835.
Jaga K., Dharmani Ch. 2003. Exposure to and public health implications of organophosphate pesticides. Pan American Journal Public Health 14 (3): 171–185. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/s1020-....
Khalaf-Allah S. 1999. Effect of pesticide water pollution on some haematological, biochemical and immunological parameters in Tilapia nilotica fish. Deutsche tierärztliche Wochenschrift 106 (2): 67–71.
Konradsen F., Van der Hoek W., Cole D.C., Hutchinson G., Daisley H., Singh S., Eddleston M. 2003. Reducing acute poisoning in developing countries-options for restricting the availability of pesticides. Toxicology 192: 249–261. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0300-....
Lehotay S.J., de Kok A., Hiemstra M., Van Bodegraven P. 2005. Validation of a fast and easy method for the determination of 229 pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables using gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometric detection. Journal of AOAC International 88 (2): 595–614. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jaoac/....
Nassar A.K., Salim Y.M., Malhat F.M. 2016. Assessment of pesticide residues in human blood and effects of occupational exposure on hematological and hormonal qualities. Pakistan Journal of Biological Science 19 (3): 95–105. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3923/pjbs.2....
Shalaby Sh.E.M., Abdou G.Y., Sallam A.A. 2012. Pesticide residue relationship and its adverse effects on occupational workers in Dakahlyia, Egypt. Applied Biological Research 14 (1): 24–32.
Shalaby Sh.E.M., El-Saadany S., Abo-Eyta A., Abdel-Satar A., Al-Afify A., Abd El-Gleel W. 2018. Levels of pesticide residues in water, soil sediment and fish samples collected from Nile river in Cairo, Egypt. Environmental Forensics 19 (4): 228–238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/152759....
Soomro A.M., Seehar G.M., Bhanger M.I., Channa N.A. 2008. Pesticides in the blood samples of spray-workers at agriculture environment: The toxicological evaluation. Pakistan Journal of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry 9 (1): 32–37.
Sosan M.B., Akingbohungbe A.E., Ojo I., Durosinmi M. 2008. Insecticide residues in the blood serum and domestic water source of cacao farmers in Southwestern Nigeria. Chemosphere 72: 781–784. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chem....
Tambe A., Mbanga B.M.R., Nzefa D.L., Nama G.M. 2019. Pesticide usage and occupational hazards among farmers working in small-scale tomato farms in Cameroon. Journal of Egypt Public Health Association 94 (20): 1–7.
Usui K., Hayashizaki Y., Hashiyada M., Funayama M. 2012. Rapid drug extraction from human whole blood using a modified QuECHERS extraction method. Legal Medicine 14: 286–296. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lega....
WHO. 2004. World Health Organization. The WHO Recommended classification of pesticides by hazard and guideline to classification 2004. p. 2–3. In: “Gouidelines to Classification”. International Programme for Chemical Safety, Geneva, Switzerland.
Zikankuba L., Mwanyika G., Ntwenya E., James A. 2019. Pesticide regulations and their malpractice implications on food and environment safety. Cogent Food & Agriculture 5: 1–15. DOI: https://doi.org/org/10.1080/23....