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Occupational pesticide exposure and respiratory health: a large-scale cross-sectional study in three commercial farming systems in Ethiopia
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  • Published on:
    Occupational pesticide exposure and respiratory health
    • Ken-ichiro Inoue, Professor School of Nursing, University of Shizuoka
    • Other Contributors:
      • Hirohisa Takano, Professor

    We read with great interest the recent study by Negatu et al. which illustrated significantly increased risks for respiratory troubles such as chronic cough and breath shortness and decreased lung functions in farm workers exposed to pesticide as compared to unexposed workers 1. However, the authors have not controlled for farming practices of both exposed and unexposed groups; did they use diesel-powered or gasoline-powered vehicles to plow their fields? Diesel exhaust may exacerbate, in particular, allergic airway inflammation 2 and thus could account for increased risk of adverse respiratory health. Also, pesticide could contribute to asthma exacerbation 3. Therefore, there might existed synergistic effects of pesticide and diesel exhaust particles on impaired respiratory health in exposed subjects as compared to unexposed ones (in particular, office workers) in their studies, which raise the possibility to exaggerate the results.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.