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Amitraz Exposure and Risks to Pesticide Applicators and Nearby Residents in Zangiabad, Iran


Aghasi, Majid (2010) Amitraz Exposure and Risks to Pesticide Applicators and Nearby Residents in Zangiabad, Iran. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Abstract / Synopsis

During and after the application of pesticides to crops in agriculture, residues may enter the atmosphere and be transported over varying distances downwind away from the target. As a result, pesticides may be inhaled in sufficient dose to be absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. The exposure to amitraz may be of occupational origin or strongly related to environmental contamination. This study is believed to be the first ever survey for Iran, aimed to determine the concentration of amitraz and its metabolite in inhalation air and serum of pesticide applicators and general population in the Zangiabad area, a Pistachio-growing area, in Southeast of Iran. This research is a cross-sectional descriptive study, based on interviews and collections of samples from pesticide applicators (70 blood samples and 70 individual air samples), from a residential population who has lived in Zangiabad area for at least two years (70 blood samples and 70 individual air samples), and from a non-exposed population who has lived in the other area which is not in contact with amitraz (70 blood samples and 70 individual air samples) and ambient air (24 samples). After air sampling, a solvent concentration step was made by a rotary-evaporator and then under a soft stream of nitrogen gas. Blood samples of each volunteer were centrifuged and then extracted using solid phase extraction cartridge and vacuum manifold. Finally, the extracts were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. As each participant was interviewed face to face, a questionnaire comprising of questions on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of safety practices in handling amitraz, characteristics of pesticide application and use of protective measures to avoid pesticide contamination was filled in. Quality control of the analysis method was determined for the air and serum samples including recovery efficiency, limits of detection and quantification, accuracy and precision, as well as reproducibility and stability. The techniques used in this study were to validate selectivity, sensitivity, stability, precision, and accuracy. Amitarz and its metabolite were found in the inhalation air and serum samples of applicators and residents, as well as the ambient air samples in Zangiabad area. The mean concentration of amitraz and its metabolite in the applicator serum samples were 135.2 and 78.1ng/mL, respectively. Amitraz and its metabolite were also found in Zangiabad residents’ serum with a mean concentration of 20.4 and 27.4ng/mL,respectively. These data suggest that a large proportion of Zangiabad zone is continuously exposed to this pesticide with low doses from 0.02 to 0.15μg/m3. In addition, all the applicators did not use any protection. The lack of use of protective measures in the study area was probably related to socio-demographic factors such as educational levels. Using the concentration of 11.51μg/m3, the inhalational intake per working day calculated is equivalent to 0.057 mg. The acceptable daily intake of amitraz is 0.003 mg/kg body weight/day, representing 0.21 mg/day in a 70 kg adult. It appeared that poisoning would not occur due to amitraz exposure alone, but this chemical agent and its metabolite are toxic and may cause chronic adverse health effects. Pesticide exposure has been identified as a major environmental health problem in the Zangiabad area, which is a pistachio cultivated centre in Iran.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subject: Pesticides - adverse effect
Call Number: FPSK(p) 2010 9
Chairman Supervisor: Professor Zailina Hashim, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
Notes: Professor Zailina Hashim, PhD
Depositing User: Haridan Mohd Jais
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2013 11:30
Last Modified: 27 May 2013 16:16
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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