Alberto José de Araujo, M.D., MSc.

Dr. Alberto José Araujo, a medical doctor, is currently the coordinator of the Occupational Medicine Program and of the Tobacco Treatment, Prevention & Research Nucleus, both of the University Hospital C. F. Filho – UFRJ. He was awarded the Irving J. Selikoff Scholarship in 1996 to support his research on the respiratory health of quarry workers. Dr. Araujo was then awarded the Advanced Irving J. Selikoff Scholarship in 2002 to conduct research on pesticide exposure. He has worked with Steven Markowitz, MD during both awards. Dr. Araujo’s research interests also include lung diseases and tobacco policy.

Institutional Affiliantion


Mailing Address

Hospital Universitario C. Fraga Filho
Programa de Medicina Ocupacional
R. Padre Ildefonso Penalba, 511-FDS
Méier – Rio de Janeiro – RJ
CEP 2077-020


Rua Vilela Tavares, 36 Casa 1
Méier – Rio de Janeiro – RJ
CEP 20725-220

E-mail Address

Irving J. Selikoff Advanced Scholarship Project

Predictors of Occupational Risks to Pesticides Exposure in Urban Applicators in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

Our goal is to analyze the working process, prevention measures and health problems existent in the formulation, supply and application of pesticides in the urban “Dengue Control Program” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition, we seek to evaluate overexposure to pesticides and poisoning levels in pesticide applicators. Organophosphate pesticides (malathion, fenitrothion and temephos) and pirethroides are widely used in mosquito extermination programs. Their classification as low toxicity products does not imply that they will not generate adverse health effects, especially if safety measures in application procedures are inadequate. Our evaluation considered the following aspects: working process, hygiene practices, safety measures adopted, toxicological evaluation and clinical examination (general practitioner exam and driven to the central and periphery nervous system).

Brazil has thousands of workers involved in urban pesticide application and this survey is an excellent opportunity to increase knowledge about the risks and impacts on health caused by acute or cumulative pesticide exposure in urban areas. The results will reinforce individual or collective protection measures for this exposed group. Results will also elicit other contributions to health policy in this area.

Irving J. Selikoff Scholarship Project

Respiratory Health in Quarry Workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of silicosis in the hard rock quarry industry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and examine the relationship between silica exposure, smoking, silicosis and impairment of lung function. The prevalence of silicosis has greatly decreased in developed countries in recent decades, though there remain selected industries with continued silica hazards [Landrigan, 1986, Rosner, 1991]. Silicosis reduction was accompanied by progressive substitution by other materials and also, by protection measures. Meanwhile, silicosis remains the dominant pneumoconiosis in many developing countries, where silica exposure persists in well-identified industries. Small quarries still rely on simple methods varied from little to big mechanization in medium or large quarries, increasing the concentration of dusts because the wetting and closure process has been insufficient. It is obtained by drilling and crushing process and, almost always by the use of light blasting charges. When prevention measures are inadequate, workers are likely to be exposed to high dust concentration. In most quarries, the stone is crushed and sieved for building, railways, cement, concrete and asphalt.

Partial Bibliography

Araujo AJ, Lemle A, Lapa e Silva JR et al. Freqüência de sintomas respiratórios de uma amostra de funcionários de um grande hospital e de uma pedreira do Rio de Janeiro. J Pneumol 1986; 12 (supl): 28.

Lemle A, Araujo AJ et al, 1991. Perfil de Saude Respiratória de Diferentes Grupos Populacionais de Funcionários da UFRJ. Pulmão, RJ, 1991; vol 1:14-16.

Lemle A, Araujo AJ, Souza GRM et al, 1995. Pneumopatias e Manifestações Respiratórias e Exposições Ocupacionais “não - explicitas”. Bol Pneum Sanit 3:88-97.

Lemle A, Araujo AJ, Lapa e Silva JR et al., 1994. Sintomas respiratórios e testes espirográficos dos funcionários de uma pedreira do Rio de Janeiro. Rev Ass Med Bras 30:23-35.

Moreira, J., Silva, JL, Araújo, AJ et al, 2002.Avaliação integrada do impacto do uso de agrotóxicos sobre a saúde humana em uma comunidade agrícola de Nova Friburgo, RJ. Ciência e Saúde Coletiva 7(2), 299-312.

Araujo, AJ. Assédio Moral – A Máscara de pressão oculta no trabalho. Jornal de Segurança no Trabalho, Nov. 11 99: 28-30.

Araujo, A.J. et al, 2000, "Meio Ambiente, Saúde e Trabalho", CUT-RJ, Comissão de Meio Ambiente.Book 1a Ed. Rio de Janeiro.*

Lima, JL, Moreira JC, Jacob, SC, Araújo, AJ et al, 2003, Riscos coletivos e impactos do uso de agrotóxicos sobre a saúde humana e ambiental: um estudo piloto de saúde ocupacional. Revista Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento, Universidade Federal do Paraná, In Press.

Araujo, AJ, 2003. Assédio Moral no Trabalho. Revista Proteção vol. 138, Junho. In Press.

Araujo, AJ, Markowitz, S, Lemle, A., Godbold, J, Castro, H, Cosenza, C, Lapa e Silva, JR, 2003, Silicosis in quarry workers: A Relationship to Smoking, Exposure time and Workplace. (to be submitted)

Araujo, AJ, Lemle, A, Markowitz, S, Godbold, J, Miller, A, Correa, LC, Cosenza, C, Lapa e Silva, JR, 2003, Lung Function among quarry workers: relationship to smoking, exposure, radiographic silicosis and respiratory morbidity. (to be submitted)