Management and control of agri-chemical pesticides: any progress?

18 Aug 2020

Issues related to agri-chemical pesticides usage and poisonings in South Africa have been well documented. Under-reporting of information required to determine the size of the problem complicates current surveillance and prevention programmes. The study aimed to determine: the procedure for reporting and follow-up of cases of agricultural pesticide poisonings; which factors contributed to the poisoning cases, and whether a biological monitoring programme was in place at the time of 110 reported cases of agri-chemical poisonings on farms in the Boland Health District between 1997 and 2000. A retrospective descriptive survey design involving a record review was applied. The study found that the cases were poorly reported. The follow up system at the local level between local government officials and the farmers was not efficient for the prevention of agri- chemical poisonings. The contributory factors were insufficient information and training; the incorrect use of personal protective equipment; the lack of safety of the agri-chemical store; and the absence of a monitoring system on the majority of farms. This study demonstrated that the notification of agricultural chemical poisoning was applied in a fragmentary manner between the different governmental levels and departments