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Exposure to Pesticides among Children and Adolescents in Ecuador

PI José Ricardo Suárez, MPH, MD, PhD


The ESPINA (Estudio de la Exposicion Secundaria a Plaguicidas en Niños y Adolescentes) study is a longitudinal study established in 2008 aimed at understanding the associations of sub-clinical exposures to pesticides with short- and long-term alterations in the development of children living the agricultural county of Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador. Our work focuses on mental health, endocrine, respiratory and enzymatic changes associated with exposures to many classes of pesticides and persistent organic pollutants. 

In follow-up to the UCSD-CIMAS Spring 2017 site visit, we are working toward the initiation of a project utilizing qualitative in-depth methodology to examine health conditions lived in some Ecuadorian communities, such as Tabacundo, Malchingui and Cayambe.  Even though we hope to learn about children, youth and adults, our interest is primarily focused on the development of ethnographic research, with the purpose of integration into a broader analysis of Ecuadorian mental health in global perspective.

José Ricardo Suárez, MPH, MD, PhD