Farmers’ health risk and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticide application

Abstract

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is always considered the last and sometimes the most important safety shield against pesticides’ hazards health risks. The spread of pests and low-quality pesticides, especially in developing countries, has increased health hazard potential among farmers. The present study aimed to assess farmers’ health risks when using PPE (composite index) by exploring its most important predictive factors. A sample of 370 farmers in Ardabil province, Iran, was selected based on the multistage sampling method. The results reveal that most farmers use three types of PPE when applying pesticides. Based on their perception of pesticides’ health risk, the number of PPE used differs. The highest health hazard in using PPE and the minimum perception of health risks caused by pesticides among farmers are related to the pesticides Paraquat and Chlorpyrifos. Also, the most important predictive factors of the composite index were found to be farm size, pesticides’ health risk perception, previous experiences with harmful effects of chemical pesticides on health (especially among large-scale farmers), training courses, and ability to afford PPE-related costs, respectively. Accordingly, farmers’ safety and health programs in the region should focus on reducing or replacing the mentioned high-risk pesticides. Reducing government subsidies for high-risk pesticides, establishing government subsidies for farmers’ PPE, providing extension training (especially for small-scale farmers), and receiving ongoing training feedback to improve farmers’ health risk perception of pesticides and the need to use PPE will effectively reduce farmers’ health risks.

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Funding

The authors would like to thank University of Mohaghegh Ardabili (Ardabil, Iran) for financial support for this study.

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M.S conducted the survey, gathered data, and analyzed data; MS.A. conceived the idea, planned the research, interpreted data, and wrote the article. All authors approved the final version of this article.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari.

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Sookhtanlou, M., Allahyari, M.S. Farmers’ health risk and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticide application. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12502-y

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Keywords

  • Personal protection equipment
  • Potato farmers
  • Pesticides
  • Health risk