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.
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.
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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