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Journal of Environmental Toxicology 2010;25(4):263-271.
Pesticide Poisoning Deaths Detected at the National Forensic Service Headquarters in Seoul of Korea : A Five-Year Survey (2005-2009)
Sang Ki Lee , Jong Sook Rhee , Jin Mi Jung , Han Sun Lee
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ABSTRACT
  Objectives
: The records of 447 pesticide poisoning deaths from the National Forensic Service (NFS) headquarters located in Seoul of Korea from 2005 to 2009 were retrospectively reviewed.
  Methods : The data of each case were analyzed by using the SPSS program.
  Results : The mean age was 57.8±14.8 years and the range was 16-92 years. The numbers of deaths of males and females were 301 and 134, respectively. The largest number of cases occurred in people aged 50-59 years (n=92, 20.6%) followed by the age groups 40-49 years (n=91, 20.4%), 60-69 years (n=88, 19.7%), and 70-79 years (n=75, 16.8%). The total number of deaths among other age groups (10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 80-89, and 90-99 years) was 73, representing only 16.3%. Of all pesticide poisoning deaths, 96.2% were due to suicide, and 28.4% of the total number who died received medical treatment. The mostfrequent site of ingestion was the person’s own residence (n=279, 62.4%). The most common classes of pesticide were bipyridylium herbicide (paraquat, 31.1%), organophosphate insecticide (21.7%), and carbamate insecticide (15.4%). The major pesticides having a high proportion of fatalities were paraquat (31.1%), methomyl (11.4%), glyphosate (9.1%), dichlorvos (5.6%), phosphamidon (4.6%), and methidathion (4.0%).
  Conclusions : This study showed that poisoning deaths due to pesticides are one of the major public health problems in Korea. Enforcement of regulations and safety education to prevent pesticide poisoning should be carried out by the government.
Keywords: Death; Herbicide; Insecticide; Pesticide; Poisoning
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