The Behavior of Agricultural Pesticide Users at Tawnnau Village, Khon Kaen, Thailand

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D Settheetham
W Ishida


Background : During 1993-1995, Thailand has been increasingly imported to pesticides in agriculture (29,217 31,774 and 38,143 metric ton, respectively). The king of pesticides are applied including organophoshate group, carbamate group and paraquart fungicide, respectively. Pesticide poisoning were organophosphate group (12.01). The Epidemiological Reported (1998)  reported pesticide poisoning between 1995-1998 had morbidity 5.71, 5.25, 5.24 and 7.16 per 100,000 persons. Sangan P., studied the problems of pesticide usage, including knowledge and understand, storage and pesticide disposal. However, they had knowledge but incorrect practice, such as mixed many pesticides. Incorrect behavior of pesticide is hazardous for environmetal, including contaminated water source, soil, air and accumulated in food chain and make insect increasing resistance

Vegetables are grown for sale all year long at Tawnnau Village. Many pesticides are applied to eradicate insects, weeds fungi and nematodes. To study usage, storage and disposal of pesticides for find the methods agriculturists use to protect themselves, treat exposed persons and to assist authorities to problem-solving planning.

Objectives : To study usage, storage and disposal of pesticides and the methods agriculturists use to protect themselves from hazards and exposure.

Methodology : This was a descriptive study done between June and October, 2000. families (77) were randomly selected for interviews from among 173 families. The results of the interviews were recorded on a questionnaire and descriptive statistics generated, including frequencies, percentages and means.

Results : Most of agriculturists used herbicides (49.3 %), but did so without carefully reading directions. The pesticides were chosen because of previous successes in usage (59.7 %) or a neighbor’s suggestion (37.7 %). Pesticides were used 2-3 times / week (42.8 % of the time) and then usually (63.6 % ) sprayed in  the morning. Pesticides were usually mixed with a stick (53.2 %) in a tank (46.8 %). Pesticides were kept away from children in specific storage (42.9 %), but the utensils, used for its preparation, were reused (37.6 %). Most agriculturists (80.5 %) sprayed pesticides into the open air. Few put on any protective gear. When users had accidental contact with pesticides 64.9 % washed. Most (87.0 %) users bathed completely after using pesticides. Most (64.9 %) had some knowledge of pesticides and some from authorities (36.0 %). Some (26.0 %) experienced severe symptoms from exposure including weakness, vertigo, distortions of vision, burning sensation or an allergenic reaction. However severe reactions occured when pesticides were inadvertently ingested (85.0 %). Treatment was usually sleep or rest.

Conclusion : Most Tawnnau agriculturists used labeled chemical herbicides, however, little attention was paid to the labeling. Pesticide mixing was suitable, but storage and disposal of utensils was not. Few users put on complete protective gear. There was a general interest in proving knowledge and use of pesticides. Some experienced severe exposure but sought only local remedies.


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