Pesticide exposures towards health and environmental hazard in Bangladesh: A case study on farmers’ perception

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The levels perception and behavior of farmers on pesticide uses and its relevant risks to the environment and human health were surveyed among the farmers of Bangladesh in two areas: Savar Upazila (SU) and Mehendiganj Upazila (MU). Significant differences were observed between the farmers’ regarding information of pesticides (χ2 = 19.679 at p < 0.05). 35% farmers of SU reported different mass communication devices as a primary source of information while 36% farmers from MU reported other farmers as their sources of information followed by pesticide dealers (28%). Proper storage and uses of personal protective equipment (PPE) were absent. However, significant differences were also observed to cover face with cloth (χ2 = 22.019 at p < 0.05). Farmers of SU used partial cover 69% while in MU 48% farmers reported no covering. Only 14% and 5% of farmers reported the full use of PPE in both areas. 39% farmers and 42% farmers of the SU and MU, respectively, reported throwing empty pots into the nearby water body followed by taking home for reuse by 31% and 24%, respectively. 88% farmers of SU vs. 82% farmers of MU consumed betel leaf, tobacco or smoking during spraying. 87% in SU and 66% in MU believed that pesticide application decreased soil fertility (χ2 = 12.265 at p < 0.05). About 83% farmers in SU and 24% farmers in MU reported that surface water pollution occurred due to pesticide χ2 = 69.963 at p < 0.05); excessive uses of pesticides destroyed beneficial insects (χ2 = 73.509 at p < 0.05). 67% farmers of SU and 26% farmers of MU responded that environmental quality was deteriorating. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed all the background variables (education, age, farming experience, and farm ownership) had a similar contribution towards understanding the danger of pesticides impact of health and environment irrespective of rural or urban location. A DPSIR framework (drivers, pressures, state, impact, response model) for the health and environmental hazard and a conceptual model of training tools for farmers are proposed.




Shammi, M., Sultana, A., Hasan, N., Mostafizur Rahman, M., Saiful Islam, M., Bodrud-Doza, M., & Khabir Uddin, M. (2018). Pesticide exposures towards health and environmental hazard in Bangladesh: A case study on farmers’ perception. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences.

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