Farmers exposed to pesticides have almost five times more DNA damage: a meta-analysis study

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Aug 3. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-15573-z. Online ahead of print.


We carried out a meta-analytical review of possible DNA damage resulting from occupational exposure to pesticides in farmers in the scientific literature. After the search, screening, and eligibility criteria steps, we included 42 studies to analyze random effect calculation. DNA damage in farmers occupationally exposed to pesticides represents an effect of SMD 4.63 [CI 95% 3.94-5.32; p <0.001]. We observed a high heterogeneity rate between the studies and an asymmetry of the bias analysis results. We performed a meta-regression on the parameters. The Olive Tail Moment (OTM) was the most effective comet assay parameter in the evaluated studies. The Damage Index (DI) was more conservative and highlighted the variability between studies caused by distinct methodologies that showed more significant effects and greater deviations. An analysis of confounding factors demonstrated a slight DNA damage in smokers who were occupationally exposed to pesticides compared to nonsmokers, indicating genotoxicity but smaller than the pesticide effect. The present study shows the greater risk that occupationally exposed rural workers have of developing related diseases due to pesticides’ genotoxic effect.

PMID:34342827 | DOI:10.1007/s11356-021-15573-z

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