Exposure to nephrotoxic pollutants in Las Brisas community, El Salvador
David Alfaro (Pres), Alejandro López, Alexandre Ribó, Roberto Mejía, Edgar Quinteros, Wilfredo Beltetón, Carlos M. Orantes, Dina L. López
National Institute of Health, Health Ministry
Discussion: 24.08.2015 [Discussion]
Globally, especially in the developing countries with high agricultural activity, the existence of obsolete, banned and highly toxic pesticides is a serious problem for human and environmental health. Recently, in El Salvador, have come to light in national media several cases of former infrastructures where pesticides were manufactured and / or stored. Most of these chemical products today are obsolete and banned in El Salvador. One such case is the former formulator pesticide factory AGROJELL S.A. de C.V., located in the municipality of San Miguel. In 2010, Salvadoran Environmental Ministry withdraw 92 barrels of Toxaphene and other dangerous chemicals from the ruins of this factory. This chemical storage was abandoned since the 80s and was partially dismantled by the people who inhabit the area. San Miguel is one of the most important cities of El Salvador. The city is on a plain to the NE of the active volcano known as Chaparrastique and west of Río Grande de San Miguel one of the major rivers of the country in whose basin are former mining areas. Around the factory AGROJELL S.A. de C.V., there is Las Brisas community. Las Brisas is a suburban neighborhood of high social vulnerability located near the Río Grande de San Miguel. Some families do not have water service and are only supplied by shallow wells, some of this wells with presence of Toxaphene identified by Ministry of Environment of El Salvador. Las Brisas community has a high prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease nontraditional cause (CKDnt). A disease whose main risk factors are related exposure to toxic pesticides such as heavy metals and that affects Salvadoran agricultural communities. Arsenic and Paraquat pollution in surface and groundwater in the Las Brisas community and surrounding areas were found by the present study. Arsenic pollution could have geogenic (hydrothermal or volcanic material enriched in this element) and/or anthropogenic origin (as former mining production, urban and industrial waste). Today, Paraquat is the most widely used pesticide in El Salvador. It most likely comes from its application in close corn crops. Arsenic, Paraquat and Toxaphene are nephrotoxic substances. Thus, the population of Las Brisas community has been exposed to a nephrotoxic load from different sources. This chronic exposure can be the explanation of the high prevalence of CKDnt of Las Brisas community, whose inhabitants, in general, are not related with agriculture activity.