Pesticides exposure from agricultural and industrial sources in San Luís Talpa, El Salvador
Edgar Quinteros (Pres), Ribó Alexandre, Mejía Roberto, Alfaro
David, Ríos Ricardo, López Alejandro, Villegas Paola, Hernández Carlos,
Orantes Carlos, López Dina.
National Institute of Heatlh of El Salvador
Discussion: 24.08.2015 [Discussion]
Pesticide exposure is a serious problem of human and environmental health worldwide. World Health Organization, estimated three million acute pesticide poisoning occurs every year around the world. Most of these poisonings occur in developing countries and especially among farmers. The accumulation and inadequate management of obsolete pesticides and other hazardous chemicals is a global problem, especially in developing countries. Due the massive use of agrochemicals last 50 years, obsolete pesticides have been converted in emerging problem in El Salvador. Recently, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador identified several stockpiles of obsolete pesticides, some of them in poor conditions. Loma del Gallo is a Salvadoran small rural community located in San Luis Talpa, a coastal municipality. The community is located in the north of a large expanse of sugar cane crops, in the coastal road. A former pesticide factory located in the community stored stockpile of obsolete pesticides in very poor conditions since the eighties. The aims of this investigation are to describe different route of exposure to pesticides to population of Loma del Gallo community, considering both environmental and occupational exposure, to assess possible exposures and to propose mitigation actions. This is a cross-sectional study carried out during 2013-2014 consisting on a field inspection in the former factory area, a survey to local population to identify the environmental and occupational exposure to pesticide and finally a literature review of all identified pollutants in order to design risk assessment proposal. Results show that local population has been exposed to pesticides from different sources for a long time. Population was exposed for 30 years to the obsolete pesticides (e.g. Toxaphene), and other toxic chemicals as emulsifiers and solvents stored improperly in the former factory. On the other hand, pesticides applied aerially (such as glyphosate) and manually (such as paraquat, methamidophos and atrazine) in neighboring crops represent another source of toxic substances to which the population has been exposed. Moreover, an occupational exposure was identified among local farmers and former factory workers. In general, local farmers carry out an improper pesticides management. The lack of use Personal Protective Equipment in the pesticides management among former pesticide factory workers and farmers, it is potencies the occupational exposure.