A survey of pesticide use and associated incidences of poisoning in Peninsular Malaysia
Ramasamy, S.; Nursiah, M.T.A.
Journal of Plant Protection in the Tropics 5(1): 1-9
A study was conducted to determine the status of pesticide use among agricultural workers and the incidence of poisoning arising from their use. The herbicide paraquat was used by 98 % of all agricultural workers interviewed while 64 % of them also used organophosphorus insecticides. Among rice farmers, 54 % of them were using organophosphorus insecticides, 45% carbamate insecticides and 68 % paraquat. In the estates and smallholdings herbicides account for 76 % of all pesticides used. The most widely used are paraquat (100%), 2,4-D amine (75 %), glyphosate (68 %) and diuron with paraquat (23 %). In oil palm holdings organophosphorus insecticides and rodenticides were used extensively. The organochlorines are more commonly used in cocoa and sugar cane plantations. Fifty four percent of all respondents claimed to have experienced pesticide poisoning. The estate workers formed the largest portion of this group followed by rice farmers and smallholders. Commonly experienced symptoms included giddiness, skin rash, nail damage and nasal bleeding. Poisoning incidences were noted to be the highest among those using paraquat and specific organophosphorus insecticides. The most common work attire were long trousers, long sleeved shirt, hat and shoes. Some of the estates were providing protective equipment like boots, gloves, face masks and plastic aprons to their workers. Other aspects like medical facilities, supervision and advice provided to agricultural workers are also reported.