Deaths from pesticide poisoning in South Korea: trends over 10 years

  • Won Jin Lee
  • Eun Shil Cha
  • Eun Sook Park
  • Kyoung Ae Kong
  • Jun Hyeok Yi
  • Mia Son
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-008-0343-z

Cite this article as:
Lee, W.J., Cha, E.S., Park, E.S. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2009) 82: 365. doi:10.1007/s00420-008-0343-z

Abstract

Objectives

Pesticide poisoning is a major cause of death in the world. The objective of this study was to examine the trends of pesticide poisoning deaths and their epidemiologic characteristics in South Korea.

Methods

We evaluated the age-standardized mortality rates from pesticide-related deaths (intentional self-poisoning, accidental poisoning, assault, undetermined intent poisoning) in South Korea from 1996 through 2005, using registered death data obtained from the Korea National Statistical Office. The regional rurality index was calculated and correlation analyses were used to estimate the association with pesticide poisoning mortality.

Results

The number of pesticide poisoning deaths from 1996 through 2005 was 25,360, which accounted for 58.3% of the total poisoning fatalities. The age-standardized mortality rates by pesticide poisoning significantly increased from 4.42 to 6.42 per 100,000 population, whereas the total death rate was decreased in the same period. Intentional self-poisoning was the majority cause of death from pesticides (84.8% of total pesticide poisoning deaths). The majority of the pesticide poisoning deaths were men, over 50 years old, with education less than middle school, and residing in rural areas. The rate of pesticide poisoning deaths was the highest in the farming period and was significantly correlated with the rurality index of each region.

Conclusions

Pesticide poisoning deaths substantially increased during the 10-year study period, and showed demographic, seasonal and regional variations. More intensive intervention efforts to reduce pesticide mortality should become a public health priority in South Korea.

Keywords

Epidemiology Mortality Pesticides Poisoning South Korea 

Abbreviations

ICD

International Classification of Diseases.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Won Jin Lee
    • 1
  • Eun Shil Cha
    • 1
  • Eun Sook Park
    • 1
  • Kyoung Ae Kong
    • 1
  • Jun Hyeok Yi
    • 2
  • Mia Son
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Graduate School of Public HealthKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Korea Institute of Oriental MedicineDaejeonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Preventive Medicine, College of MedicineKangwon UniversityChunchonSouth Korea

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