Accepted 21 July 2011.
Introduction The extensive and intensive use of pesticides in agricultural practices has exposed farmers to various hazards resulting in varying degrees of health
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study among paddy farmers in Sabak Bernam district, Malaysia. The objective of this study was to gather baseline information on chlorpyrifos blood level and its relationship with pesticides exposure symptoms.
Results We detected chlorpyrifos in farmers’ blood in 7 percent of the respondents, with mean 7.29 nanogram per millilitre blood (sd 5.84 nanogram per millilitre). The percentage of farmers who experienced at least one pesticide exposure symptoms was 75 percent. However, we found no significant association between chlorpyrifos blood level and its exposure symptoms. The farmers had low scores on safe practice of pesticide use even though they have high marks on knowledge and attitude. We found no significant association between the scores on knowledge, attitude and practice on pesticide use and the chlorpyrifos blood level.
Conclusions The presence of pesticide exposure symptoms proved that most of the farmers were exposed to hazardous effects of pesticides. Specific trainings on safe use and handling of pesticides should be given on regular basis to these farmers to ensure they are protected from hazardous effects of pesticides exposure.