Health risk and health status of farmers exposed to chemical pesticides used in agriculture


  • Pussadee Laor School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
  • Vivat Keawdounglek School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
  • Anuttara Hongtong School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
  • Yanasinee Suma Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Patumthani 12120, Thailand
  • Nittaya Pasukphun Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Patumthani 12120, Thailand
  • Tanika Songla Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Patumthani 12120, Thailand
  • Wanvisa Saisanan Na Ayudhaya College of Allied Health Sciences, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Samut Songkhram 75000, Thailand


agriculture, chemical pesticide, cholinesterase, farmer, health risks, health status, reactive paper


Pesticide exposure is one of the most serious health risks among farmers in Thailand.  Unsafe and poor pesticide handling practices in agriculture denote a major hazard to human health.  This research aimed to assess the health risks of farmers exposed to pesticides and the relationship between farmers’ health risks and their pesticide handling practices.  This study was conducted in Mae Chan district, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, from July to September 2018.  A purposive sample of 241 respondents constituted the study population.  The health risk assessment data was collected using a structured questionnaire and blood test.  Quantitative data were analyzed by descriptive statistics.  Pearson’s Correlation and Chi-square test were used to identify the relationship between variables.  The results show that more than 50% of the respondents were over 50 years old.  The most common pesticide-related symptoms were dizziness, coughs and headaches. Poor handling and use of pesticides such as leaking spraying tanks, smoking while working, and eating food and drinking alcohol in the work area were observed.  The health of farmers needs to be surveyed because more than half of the respondents were at risk.  Farmers’ health risks are associated with their handling of pesticides.  Moreover, the use of personal protective equipment should be recommended to farmers for their safety whenever there is a possibility of being exposed to chemical pesticides.


Chomthaisong, C., Nathapindhu, G., & Settheetham, D. (2007). Occupational health impact on tomato growers in Kutchap district and Nongwuaso district Udonthani province: a comparison of impact between production for seed and production for consumption. KKU Research Journal, 7(1), 74-82.

Department of Environmental Quality Promotion. (2017). Study on the development of risk management guideline for organophosphate pesticides in the upper northern region with participatory research process 3rd year: Phaya Mengrai district, Chiang Rai province. Retrieved from mengrai.pdf

Duangchinda, A., Anurugsa, B., & Hungspreug, N. (2014). The use of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides on paddy fields and cholinesterase levels of farmers in Sam Chuk District, Suphan Buri Province, Thailand. Thammasat. International Journal of Science and Technology, 19(1), 39-51.

Goldman, L. R. (2007). Managing pesticide chronic health risks: U.S. Policies. Journal of Agromedicine, 12, 67-75.

Jaca, K., & Dharman, C. (2003). Sources of exposure to and public health implications of organophosphate pesticide. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica, 14(3), 171-185.

Kachaiyaphum, P., Howteerakul, N., Sujirarat, D., Siri, S., & Suwannapong, N. (2010). Serum cholinesterase levels of Thai chili-farm workers exposed to chemical pesticides: prevalence estimated and associated factor. Journal of Occupational Health, 52, 89-98. DOI: 10.1539/joh.q 9003

Kongtip, P., Nankongnab, N., Mahaboonpeeti, R., Bootsikeaw, S., Batsungnoen, K., Hanchenlaksh, C., Woskie, S. (2018). Differences among Thai agricultural workers’ health, working conditions, and pesticide use by farm type. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 62(2), 167-181. DOI: 10.1093/annweh/wxx099.

Milatovic, D., Gupta, R. C., & Aschner, M. (2006). Anticholinesterase toxicity and oxidative stress. The Scientific World Journal, 6, 295-310. DOI: 10.1100/tsw.2006.38

Ministry of Industry. (2016). Industrial economic analysis report (January-June 2016). Retrieved from

Nordin, R. B., Araki, S., Hajime, S., Yokoyama, K., Wan Muda, W. A. M. B., & Win Kyi, D. (2002). Effects of safety behaviors with pesticide use on occurrence of acute symptoms in male and female tobacco-growing Malaysian farmers. Industrial Health, 40, 182-190. DOI: 10.2486/indhealth.40.182

Ooraikul, S., Siriwong, W., Siripattanakol, S., Chotpantarat, S., & Robson, G. M. (2011). Risk assessment of organophosphate pesticide for chili consumption from chili farm area, Ubon Ratchathani province, Thailand. Journal of Health Research, 25(3), 141-146.

Panuwet, P., Siriwong, W., Prapamontol, T., Ryan, P. B., Fiedler, N., Robson, M. G., & Barr, D. B. (2012). Agricultural pesticide management in Thailand: status and population health risk. Environmental Science & Policy, 17, 72-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2011.12.005

Pariona, A. (2017). Top pesticide using countries. Retrieved from

pesticide-consuming-countries-of-the world.html

Plianbangchang, P., Jetiyanon, K., & Wittaya-areekuk, S. (2008). Pesticide use patterns among small-scale farmers: a case study from Phitsanulok, Thailand. The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 40(2), 401-410.

Rivera, E. P., Siriwong, W., Taneepanichskull, N., Korkaew, S., & Robson, M. G. (2016). Health risk related to pesticide expose in the agriculture system in Thailand: A systematic review. Journal of Health Research, 30, S71-S80.

Riwthong, S., Schreinemachersm, P., Grovermann, P., & Berger, T. (2015). Land use intensification, commercialization and changes in pest management of smallholder upland agriculture in Thailand. Environmental Science & Policy, 45, 11-19. DOI:

Rother, H.-A. (2018). Pesticide labels: protecting liability or health?-unpacking “misuse” of pesticides. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, 4, 10-15. DOI:

Schreinemachers, P., Chen, H., Nguyen, T. T. L., Buntong, B., Bouapao, L., Gautam, S., . . . Srinivasan, R. (2017). Too much to handle? pesticide dependence of smallholder vegetable farmers in Southeast Asia. Science of the Total Environment, 593-594, 470-477. DOI:

Sematong, S., Zapuang, K., & Kitana, N. (2008). Pesticide use, farmer knowledge and awareness in Thong Pha Phum Region, Kanchanaburi Province. Journal of Health Research, 22, 15-20.

Stamati, .P N., Maipas, S., Kotampasi, C., Stamatis, P., & Hens, L. (2016). Chemical pesticide and human health: The urgent need for a new concept in agriculture. Frontiers in Public Health, 4(148), 1-8. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148

Tawatsin, A., Thavara, U., & Siriyasatien, P. (2015). Pesticides used in Thailand and toxic effects to human health. Medical Research Archives, 3, 1-10.

U-thaiwat, P., Supparerkchaisakul, N., Mohan, K. P., & Fansler, K. (2017). Developing a scale for niversity citizenship behavior: Thai and U.S. academic contexts. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 12(2), 71-89.

Wanwimolruk, S., Phopin, K., Boonpangrak, S., & Prachayasittikul, V. (2016). Food safety in Thailand 4: comparison of pesticide residues found in three commonly consumed vegetables purchased from local markets and supermarkets in Thailand. PeerJ Journals, 4, e2432. DOI: 10.7717/ peerj. 2432

Wilaiwan, W., Baokumkong, C., Siriwong, W., & Pidgunpai, K. (2015). Cholinesterase levels and adverse health effects among rice farmers using pesticides in agricultural areas, the central of Thailand. International Journal of Management and Applied Science, 1(9), 313-316.




How to Cite

Pussadee Laor, Vivat Keawdounglek, Anuttara Hongtong, Yanasinee Suma, Nittaya Pasukphun, Tanika Songla, & Wanvisa Saisanan Na Ayudhaya. (2023). Health risk and health status of farmers exposed to chemical pesticides used in agriculture. Journal of Current Science and Technology, 9(2), 89–98. Retrieved from



Research Article