I read this incredibly study done by a team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands in 2005. They were interested in the effects of pesticides on cotton workers, and their results were astounding. I took out a couple of my favorite quotes from the piece, but I recommend that you read the entire piece to get a real understanding of the effect of cotton pesticides.
“Of the 323 reported events, 16.4% were asymptomatic, 39% led to mild poisoning, 38 % to moderate poison- ing, and 6% to severe poisoning.”
“Regardless of the seriousness of the illness, farmers sought medical advice only in 8% of cases. Home-made treatments were taken in 70% of the cases; no action was taken in the remaining cases. In rare cases, short periods of extra rest (1.41 hours for women and 1.38 hours for men) were necessary before resuming the work.”
“Low-income marginal farmers were more often sub- jected to severe poisoning than landlords.”