Pesticide Exposure in the Caribbean: A Case From Nutmeg Processing

Many developed countries around the world have implemented regulations to phase out or greatly restrict the use of pesticides. Pesticides are still utilized with minimal restrictions, however, in fumigating agricultural commodities in developing countries such as Grenada. This special report presents the case of a nutmeg factory worker in Grenada who worked with various pesticides including methyl bromide, magnesium phosphide (magtoxin), and aluminum phosphide (phostoxin) without the proper awareness and utilization of health and safety measures. The nutmeg factory worker later developed metastatic bladder cancer, which may have been triggered by a combination of individual risk factors along with long-term occupational exposure to these pesticides. In this special report, the occupational health importance of prevention in a work environment with significant exposure to pesticides is highlighted as well as some of the fundamental deficiencies in awareness among workers in developing nations concerning the deleterious effects of frequent exposure to pesticides.

Speaker / Author: 
Muge Akpinar-Elci, MPH, MD
MyNgoc Thuy Nguyen, MS
Satesh Bidaisee, MPH, DVM
Omur Cinai Elci, MD, PhD
Month Year: 
January 2016
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
January/February 2016