Field workers are suffering from a terrible and "mysterious disease," as described here by National Geographic:
Becky Little. June 2, 2016. Pictures Show the Mysterious Disease That's Killing Field Workers. National Geographic, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/chronic-kidney-disease-india-farmers-health-climate-change/The proposed solutions to the mysterious disease are avoidance of heat stress and adequate hydration, although "there is still uncertainty" about causes.
Photographer Ed Kashi documents how chronic kidney disease is affecting rural India.
In rural Central America and India, researchers are witnessing the spread of chronic kidney disease (CKD)—the gradual loss of kidney function. In developed countries, the disease is commonly caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. However, other factors seem to be driving the kidney disease that researchers are seeing in farmers in Nicaragua and rural India. Because of this, researchers refer to the condition in these areas as chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes, or CKDnT. Although there is still uncertainty about what causes CKDnT, heat stress and recurrent dehydration are likely factors.
No mention of pesticides. Yet, there are many studies that explain chronic kidney problems in relation to pesticide exposure, as illustrated in this abstract:
Payán-Rentería R1, Garibay-Chávez G, Rangel-Ascencio R, Preciado-Martínez V, Muñoz-Islas L, Beltrán-Miranda C, Mena-Munguía S, Jave-Suárez L, Feria-Velasco A, De Celis R. 2012. Effect of chronic pesticide exposure in farm workers of a Mexico community. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2012;67(1):22-30. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2011.564230.
AbstractWhy doesn't National Geographic even mention pesticides as a possible cause in their framing of this mysterious disease?
Pesticides are frequently used substances worldwide, even when the use of some of them is forbidden due to the recognized adverse effect they have on the health of not only the people who apply the pesticides, but also of those that consume the contaminated products. The objectives of this study were to know the health issues of farm workers chronically exposed to pesticides, to evaluate possible damage at genetic level, as well as to explore some hepatic, renal, and hematological alterations. A transversal comparative study was performed between 2 groups, one composed of 25 farm workers engaged in pesticide spraying, and a control group of 21 workers not exposed to pesticides; both groups belonged to the Nextipac community in Jalisco, Mexico. Each member of both groups underwent a full medical history. Blood samples were taken from all farm workers in order to obtain a complete blood count and chemistry, clinical chemistry, lipid profile, liver and kidney function tests, erythrocyte cholinesterase quantification, lipid peroxidation profile, and free DNA fragment quantification. For the information analysis, central tendency and dispersion measurements were registered. In order to know the differences between groups, a cluster multivariate method was used, as well as prevalence reasons. The most used pesticides were mainly organophosphates, triazines and organochlorine compounds. The exposed group showed acute poisoning (20% of the cases) and diverse alterations of the digestive, neurological, respiratory, circulatory, dermatological, renal, and reproductive system probably associated to pesticide exposure. More importantly, they presented free DNA fragments in plasma (90.8 vs 49.05 ng/mL) as well as a higher level of lipid peroxidation (41.85 vs. 31.91 nmol/mL) in comparison with those data from unexposed farm workers. These results suggest that there exist health hazards for those farm workers exposed to pesticides, at organic and cellular levels.