Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Ecuadorian Banana Plantation Workers

Leonardo Briceno, Katja Radon, Juan Pablo Piedra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Conventional banana production is one of the agricultural sectors with aprevalent use of a wide and varying range of pesticides,; mostly fungicides,followed by insecticides, nematicides, and herbicides (Deknock et al., 2019). Ofthe global 18.1 million tons of banana exports in 2017, one third was producedin Ecuador. Bananas are conventionally produced in large scale monocultureson farms hiring workers on a temporary basis (Brisbois, Harris, & Spiegel,2018). Among the large variety of tasks workers perform, pre- and postharvesting pesticide applications are common. In addition, aerial fumigationwhile workers are on the fields was described - affecting not only the workersbut also the neighbours and the general environment (Brisbois et al., 2018;Deknock et al., 2019). Safety training and provision of personal protectiveequipment are frequently lacking on these farms. Other factors impacting farmworkers’ health are lack of education, low and precarious income, as well aspoor housing conditions (Brisbois et al., 2018). To our knowledge, so far, fewstudies have investigated the potential effect of pesticide use in bananaplantations and respiratory symptoms of the banana workers (Fieten, Kromhout,Heederik, & van Wendel de Joode, 2009; Schenker et al., 2004). Therefore, theobjective of this study was to compare the prevalence of respiratory symptomsamong banana farm labourers in Ecuador to banana packers working on thesame farms as the banana farm laborers, but that do not spray pesticides.
Translated title of the contributionPrevalencia de síntomas respiratorios en trabajadores ecuatorianos de plantaciones de banano
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOccupational Safety and Health Challenges in Southern Agriculture
Place of PublicationMunchen
PublisherRainer Hampp Verlag
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-95710-247-8
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Cite this

Briceno, L., Radon, K., & Piedra, J. P. (2019). Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Ecuadorian Banana Plantation Workers. In Occupational Safety and Health Challenges in Southern Agriculture (Vol. 15, pp. 78-86). [5] Rainer Hampp Verlag.