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The Forensic Deaths Caused by Pesticide Poisoning Between the Years 2006 and 2009 in Izmir, Turkey


  • Presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of Balkan Academy of Forensic Sciences, June 3–6, 2010, in Tirana, Albania.

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Akan Karakus, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Ondokuz Mayıs University, Medicine Faculty
Forensic Medicine Department
Ondokuz Mayıs


Abstract:  Pesticide poisoning is still a significant health problem in Turkey. We conducted a retrospective study of autopsy cases at Izmir Branch of the Council of Forensic Medicine to describe the characteristics of deaths caused by pesticide poisoning between 2006 and 2009. The distributions of the cases according to gender and age were as follows: men 74.1% (n = 40, mean [±SD] age, 44.7 ± 14.1), women 25.9% (n = 14, mean [±SD] age, 39.2 ± 18.9). The majority of pesticide-poisoning deaths were suicides (n = 43, 80%) followed by accidents (n = 4, 8%) and homicide (n = 1, 2%). The manner of death could not be determined in six cases (11%). Suicides mostly occurred at home (n = 26, 63%) (p < 0.05). Methomyl was the most frequent pesticide (n = 9, 17%) among the all cases. This study reported that most of the pesticides found in poisoning cases were highly hazardous types. Combined efforts of medical professionals and law makers are needed for enacting strict laws against highly hazardous pesticides.

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