M. A. SIRAG1, THOMAS BETSCHE2, JÖRG BRÜGGEMANN2, EDITH EICH2, A. M. A. INAAM3, E. S. MANAL4
1King Abdul Aziz University, Faculty of Medicine, Saudi Arab
2Federal Centre for Nutrition and Foods - Detmold, Institute for Biochemistry of Cereals and Potatoes, Germany
3Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), Sudan
4Gezira University, Sudan
DDT and other pesticides were extensively used in Sudan to control agricultural pests and vectors of malaria, typhus, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. Since 1981, DDT use in Sudan is restricted to public health purposes.
The Gezira scheme is the most important agricultural unit in Sudan producing cotton, sorghum, wheat, groundnuts and vegetables. With regard to pest management, the total amount of pesticide used in 1995/96 was 65 tons organochlorines (OC) and 68 tons organophosphorous pesticides.
OC tend to accumulate in the fat storing tissue of the human body to reach levels considered significant OC burdens. OC can lead to chronic intoxications that are characterised by deterioration of the nervous, digestive or cardiovascular systems, of blood formation processes and others. Limb tremor and alterations in the electromyograms have been observed with workers exposed to OC or other pesticides. It appears that no protection clothing is available appropriate for Sudan`s hot climate.
To investigate whether there is a correlation between pesticide concentration in the blood and often observed health impairements such as chronic headache and tremor, 60 male workers of different occupational groups were examined. Results will be presented of the relationship between the concentrations of DDT (metabolites included) determined in blood sera and various health impairements deplored.
Keywords: Chronic intoxication, DDT, health protection, pesticides