Pesticide Knowledge and Safety Practices among Oil Palm Smallholders

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Pesticides have become an integral part of present-day farming, and play a major role in increasing agricultural productivity. However, the indiscriminate and extensive use of pesticides represents one of the major environmental and public health problems all over the world. Agriculture is one of the earliest professions practiced and involves a unique system of works. Therefore, the development in these agricultural activities that carried out by the workers has created many risks to human health, and one of them is caused by chemical hazard existed from the uses of various types of insecticides or pesticides. Based on the statistics disclosed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) in the year of 1991, the agriculture industry is recorded with the second highest reported occurrence of accidents among all sectors of the occupation industry. In 1990, World Health Organization (WHO) which based in Geneva explained that most of the pesticide is a chemical used in agriculture sector to control insects and weeds to assist in increasing the production of crops.  The consumed organic products nowadays which potentially contain the excess of several different pesticides might be the cause of the illness.  Latest investigation has discovered that a moderate to low awareness among farm workers towards the utilization of pesticide residue in soil, in the air, on plants and in groundwater. This study aims to determine the knowledge and awareness of the farmers regarding pesticides, and their experiences with acute pesticide poisoning in connection with handling pesticides; assess farmers’ practices and attitudes regarding storage, handling and disposal of pesticides; and evaluate the protective measures taken by farmers, including the adoption of PPE, to reduce occupational pesticide exposure.

For further information: azlanabas@ukm.edu.my

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