- Thursday, March 25, 2010
- Knowledge and practices of pesticide use among farm workers in the West Bank, Palestine: safety implications
- Published at:Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s12199-010-0136-3
(1) Poison Control and Drug Information Center (PCDIC), College of Pharmacy, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine (2) WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Information, National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia (3) Medical Technology Department, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine (4) School of Pharmaceutical Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia
Received: 30 October 2009 Accepted: 7 February 2010 Published online: 10 March 2010AbstractMethodsIn this cross-sectional questionnaire study, agricultural farm workers in Nablus district, Palestine, were interviewed on their knowledge and practices of pesticide use. Comparisons of knowledge and practices of pesticide use between various groups were performed using the Mann–Whitney U-test or the Kruskal–Wallis rank test of variance. The program of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15 was used for data analysis.ResultsThe questionnaire was completed by 381 farm workers. The mean age ± SD of the participants was 38.8 ± 11.8 years. The majority (97.9%) of the participants were male. The mean participant scores for knowledge and safety procedures were 2.8 ± 3.2 out of 8 and 9.8 ± 2.4 out of 15, respectively. There was a significant positive correlation (r = 0.323; P < 0.001) between the knowledge and safety procedure scores. Unsafe behaviors were identified as the storage of pesticide products at home, the preparation of pesticides in the kitchen, inadequate disposal of empty pesticide containers, eating and drinking during pesticide application, and using inadequate protective clothing. The most frequent self-reported toxicity symptoms associated with pesticide use were skin rash (37.5%), headache (37%), excessive sweating (24.9%), and diarrhea (21.3%). There was a strong significant negative correlation (r = −0.83; P < 0.001) between self-reported toxicity symptoms and scores for protective measures.
Keywords Pesticide - Knowledge - Practice - Symptom - Palestine