Risk assessment of pesticide usage by farmers in Commewijne, Suriname, South America: a pilot study for the Alkmaar and Tamanredjo regions

  • Shirley Mahabali
  • Pieter Spanoghe


Limited scientific work is available on pesticide use and exposure in Suriname. Therefore, research was conducted to assess the application, safety practices (use of personal protective equipments (PPEs)), and potential risk of pesticide use by means of a face-to-face questionnaire and determination of the international estimated short-term intake (IESTI)). The amount of pesticide used was compared with the label and the in the European Union (EU) authorized dose. The majority of the farmers was male between 41 and 60 years and followed a primary education only. Less than 5 % of farmers used non-authorized pesticides. Results showed that most farmers (58 up to 100 %) apply a dose, which is within 0–100 % of the regulated dose (label and EU). Good results were obtained for the use of most PPEs. Statistical analysis did not reveal a significant difference between the different age classes, the different levels of education, and the use of PPEs. Pesticide residue analysis of four major crops showed that 22 % of the samples contained pesticides (13 % imidacloprid and 9 % chlorothalonil). The results for imidacloprid were higher than their respective maximum residue levels (MRLs) and were used for calculation of the IESTI. The highest observed IESTI value was 74.5 % of the EU acute reference dose (ARfD), giving rise to concern about pesticide usage. In Suriname, educational programs, good agricultural practices (GAP) training, sustainable agricultural practices, food monitoring studies, and legislative control mechanisms are urgently needed to protect farmer’s health and the environment and to ensure food safety.


Pesticides Application PPEs Residues IESTI 



This research was financed by the VLIR-AdeKUS-IUC, Project No. 4–5. The authors wish to thank Mr. P. Wongsowikromo and E. Troenosemito of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Office in the Commewijne district. They would also like to thank the three university students, R. van Ampt, C. Vaseur, and S. Gopal for participating in this survey.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Crop Protection Chemistry, Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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