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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


ARIAS, V et al. Intoxication by pesticides in patients assisted at the National Center of Toxicology of the Ministry of Public Health. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2006, vol.4, n.2, pp.50-54. ISSN 1812-9528.

An increase in the use of pesticides has been observed in Paraguay, especially in the agricultural area. Nevertheless, the conscience on the danger of the use of these chemical substances still has a relatively short history, and currently the control is quite limited. The statistics do not have a unified register and, therefore, an important sub-registry of cases is estimated. This study corresponds to a cross-sectional retrospective descriptive design and was carried out in order to determine the prevalence of intoxications by the use of pesticides and the demographic characteristics of the intoxicated patients that attended the National Centre of Toxicology (CNT) of the Center of Medical Emergencies, in Asuncion, Paraguay from July, 2000 to May, 2004. Thirteen point seven percent of 2570 intoxications were caused by pesticides, being the organophosphates the most frequent substances (47.1%). The most frequent age group was 16-30 years with 50.3% of the cases that were predominantly women (58.2%). In relation to the occupation of the affected patients, this study showed that 61 cases (22.6%) corresponded to elementary and high school students followed by 49 domestic cases (18.2%) and 31 cases of farmers (11.5%). Most patients came from the Central department with 190 cases (53.9%). It is important to remark the low number of cases from departments using greater amount of pesticides as well as the easy access to these substances of elementary and high school students.

Keywords : Pesticides; intoxications; prevalence.

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