Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 213–227 | Cite as

Private costs and the relation between pesticide exposure and ill health: evidence from Sri Lanka

  • Clevo Wilson


The cost of illness (COI) approach was used to estimate the private costs to Sri Lankan farmers due to ill health resulting from exposure to pesticides during handling and spraying. Field survey data showed that the costs arising from pesticide exposure are considerable. The data were then used to formulate cost of ill health scenarios for the entire country. The last section of the paper undertakes an econometric analysis to identify the factors responsible for the ill health among farmers exposed to pesticides. The Tobit regression results showed that farmers are in clear violation of the precautions prescribed for handling and spraying pesticides, a situation that calls for urgent action to implement the recommended safety procedures. If not, the costs to the country as well as to the users will be substantial, as shown by the cost estimates generated from the field survey and the limited hospital data available. The environmental externalities are also expected to be high. The results of the study can be useful for developing countries where farmers use hand sprayers, resulting in high exposure to pesticides.

Key words

Pesticide pollution Health effects Private and public costs Developing country Cost of illness approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clevo Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EconomicsThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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