International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health

, Volume 82, Issue 7, pp 833–842

Cholinesterase activity, pesticide exposure and health impact in a population exposed to organophosphates

  • Sirivarasai Jintana
  • Kaojarern Sming
  • Yoovathaworn Krongtong
  • Sura Thanyachai
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0422-9

Cite this article as:
Jintana, S., Sming, K., Krongtong, Y. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2009) 82: 833. doi:10.1007/s00420-009-0422-9



Biological monitoring is an essential component for assessing the exposure of individuals to organophosphate pesticides. The aim of this study was to determine cholinesterase activity, pesticide exposure and health effects in the exposed population.


A total of 90 individuals occupationally exposed to OPs and 30 controls were recruited in this study. Erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activities were measured in two periods of low- and high-exposure.


There were statistically significant decrease in AChE and BuChE activities in the high-exposure period (20.73 ± 0.99 U/gHb and 3.73 ± 0.19 U/mL, respectively, P < 0.001) compared to the low-exposure period (29.81 ± 1.19 U/gHb and 4.92 ± 0.19 U/mL, respectively). All enzyme activities in the exposed group were statistically lower than in the control group. Analysis of the relation between cholinesterase activity and symptoms showed significant evidences.


The results suggested the association between occupational pesticide exposure and inhibition of cholinesterases. Thus, medical monitoring of cholinesterase inhibition and intervention programs regarding safety practices during field work are important issues aimed at minimizing adverse health effects of pesticide.



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirivarasai Jintana
    • 1
  • Kaojarern Sming
    • 1
  • Yoovathaworn Krongtong
    • 2
  • Sura Thanyachai
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi HospitalMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Programe, Faculty of ScienceMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Division of Medical Genetic, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi HospitalMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand