Comparative Toxicological Study between Exposed and Non-Exposed Farmers to Organophosphorus Pesticides

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

2 Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this work was to compare DNA damage, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, inflammatory markers and clinical symptoms in farmers exposed to organophosphorus pesticides to individuals that had no pesticide exposure.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional survey with a total of 134 people. The subject group consisted of 67 farmers who were exposed to organophosphorus pesticides. The control group consisted of 67 people without any contact with pesticides matched with the subject group in terms of age, gender, and didactics. Oxidative DNA damage, the activities of AChE, interleukin-6 (IL6), IL10 and C-reactive protein (CRP) in serum were measured and clinical examinations conducted in order to register all clinical signs.
Compared with the control group, substantial gains were observed in the farmers’ levels of oxidative DNA damage, IL10 and CRP. There was significantly less AChE activity in farmers exposed to organophosphorus pesticides. The levels of IL6 in both groups did not significantly differ.
The outcomes show that exposure to organophosphorus pesticides may cause DNA oxidative damage, inhibit AChE activity and increase the serum levels of inflammatory markers. Using biological materials instead of chemical pesticides and encouraging the use of safety equipment by farmers are some solutions to the adverse effects of exposure to organophosphorous pesticides.