Human and Environmental Health Implications of Pesticide Utilization by Market Gardeners in the Western Highlands of Cameroon
Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology,
Aims: Assessment of human and environmental health implications of pesticide use by farmers in the western highlands of Cameroon, the case of Fotouni.
Study design: Descriptive Cross-Sectional
Place and Duration of Study: This work was done between November 2016 and March 2017 in Fotouni (West Region of Cameroon).
Methodology: A structured questionnaires randomly administered to 76 markets gardeners owning a farm and willing to take part in the survey.
Results: The survey revealed that secondary school was the highest level of education achieved by most of the respondents (68.4%). Farmers were aged between 19 and 63 years, the highest percentage (47.4%) being in the 31 to 40 years range. Five pesticide families were used in the study area with a predominance of insecticides. Thirty-one commercial names were recorded corresponding to 18 active ingredients. Chlorothalonil was the most used active ingredient. Beauchamp and Dimethoate were two illegally used compounds recorded. Most farmers (89%) mixed pesticide before application while others (31.6%) changed dosage per crop season. Furthermore, prescribed doses were not followed by 34.2% of respondents and 60.5% of farmers hadn’t receive any training on pesticide application. Market gardeners chose pesticides to apply mainly from information on labels (71%). Farm water was used by 92.1% of respondents for domestic purposes; 28.9% of respondents testified active pesticide poisoning while 47.4% failed to use protective equipment during application. Seven post-application symptoms were recorded, the main one being impaired vison and nausea. The farm house was the main pesticide storage site (56%). Empty sachets were poorly managed as respondents burned (42%) or buried (10%). The Restricted Entry Interval was a mystery for the majority of respondents (70%) who declared they re-entered the farms less than 24h after application.
Conclusion: Farmers were highly exposed to pesticides due to ignorance and poor legislation.
- restricted entry interval
- active ingredient
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