The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) is the Ontario
chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).
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Brazilian Organic Coffee Bean Workers – OCFP 2012 Pesticides Review
Another lower-quality study (assessment score 9 out of 20) examined neurologic outcomes in 35 children aged 4–10 years from conventional and organic Costa Rican coffee farms in two towns 2.4 km apart (Lu 2009). The children in both groups had comparable pesticide exposures on two-spot urine tests for metabolites; for example, 68% of the organic farmers’ children and 75% of the conventional had detectable 2,4-D. This may have reflected similar dietary patterns in both groups, low pesticide use in the high-altitude conventional coffee farms, or the physical proximity of the two towns. The groups did differ significantly in socioeconomic status, quality
In a Brazilian child worker study (Eckerman 2007, assessment score 5 out of 20), deficits in exposed rural children (defined by work histories) were found in finger tapping and reaction time( p< .01), with the strongest effects in 10–11-year-old children. Methodological problems withthis study included small sample size, poor exposure assessment, poor confounder assessment,and lack of detail about specific pesticide exposures of housing, and years of schooling, all favouring the conventional farmers who owned plantations. When the two groups were compared on neurologic tests, the conventional farmers’children performed better on three subtests, i.e., figure drawing ( p< .05), corrected response totargets ( p< .01), and average false alarm latency ( p< .01).
This difference was attributed by the researchers to higher socioeconomic status and earlier school attendance in that group (Lu 2009).The relationship between level of exposure and neurologic performance was not reported for either group. Some urinary organophosphate levels in both groups were noted to be lower than in the NHANES data, which represents a national sample of US children (Lu 2009).