Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Ecuadorian Banana Plantation Workers Chapter

abstract

  • Conventional banana production is one of the agricultural sectors with a prevalent use of a wide and varying range of pesticides,; mostly fungicides, followed by insecticides, nematicides, and herbicides (Deknock et al., 2019). Of the global 18.1 million tons of banana exports in 2017, one third was produced in Ecuador. Bananas are conventionally produced in large scale monocultures on farms hiring workers on a temporary basis (Brisbois, Harris, & Spiegel, 2018). Among the large variety of tasks workers perform, pre- and postharvesting pesticide applications are common. In addition, aerial fumigation while workers are on the fields was described - affecting not only the workers but also the neighbours and the general environment (Brisbois et al., 2018; Deknock et al., 2019). Safety training and provision of personal protective equipment are frequently lacking on these farms. Other factors impacting farm workers’ health are lack of education, low and precarious income, as well as poor housing conditions (Brisbois et al., 2018). To our knowledge, so far, few studies have investigated the potential effect of pesticide use in banana plantations and respiratory symptoms of the banana workers (Fieten, Kromhout, Heederik, & van Wendel de Joode, 2009; Schenker et al., 2004). Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among banana farm labourers in Ecuador to banana packers working on the same farms as the banana farm laborers, but that do not spray pesticides.
  • Conventional banana production is one of the agricultural sectors with aprevalent use of a wide and varying range of pesticides,; mostly fungicides,followed by insecticides, nematicides, and herbicides (Deknock et al., 2019). Ofthe global 18.1 million tons of banana exports in 2017, one third was producedin Ecuador. Bananas are conventionally produced in large scale monocultureson farms hiring workers on a temporary basis (Brisbois, Harris, & Spiegel,2018). Among the large variety of tasks workers perform, pre- and postharvesting pesticide applications are common. In addition, aerial fumigationwhile workers are on the fields was described - affecting not only the workersbut also the neighbours and the general environment (Brisbois et al., 2018;Deknock et al., 2019). Safety training and provision of personal protectiveequipment are frequently lacking on these farms. Other factors impacting farmworkers’ health are lack of education, low and precarious income, as well aspoor housing conditions (Brisbois et al., 2018). To our knowledge, so far, fewstudies have investigated the potential effect of pesticide use in bananaplantations and respiratory symptoms of the banana workers (Fieten, Kromhout,Heederik, & van Wendel de Joode, 2009; Schenker et al., 2004). Therefore, theobjective of this study was to compare the prevalence of respiratory symptomsamong banana farm labourers in Ecuador to banana packers working on thesame farms as the banana farm laborers, but that do not spray pesticides.

publication date

  • 2019-4-1

edition

  • 15

ISBN

  • 978-3-95710-247-8

number of pages

  • 9

start page

  • 78

end page

  • 86