Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

ISSN: 2161-0525

Open Access

Farmer's Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices, and their Exposure to Pesticide Residues after Application on the Vegetable and Fruit Crops. Case Study: North of Delta, Egypt


Moustafa Mohamed Saleh Abbassy

The objective of this study is to assess farmers’ awareness on the safely use of pesticides and field spraying practices that might potentially expose them to chemical hazards. The level of farmer's knowledge towards the negative effects of pesticides on the human health and environment was evaluated. A pilot survey was also carried out for assessing the potential residual levels of chlorpyrifos cypermethrin and lambda-cyhalthrin pesticides (which are commonly applied on the vegetable and fruit crops in the study area) in the feet, hands and face washing water of sprayers after application. The study was carried out among smallholder farmers of intensive vegetable and fruit production zones at northern delta, Egypt. Data was based on a random sample of 86 farmers using structured interviews and direct field observations. The obtained results showed that in spite of the farmers have good knowledge about the potential negative effects of pesticides on the human and for somewhat on the environment, lack of their following safety measures was dominant. All of the pesticide applicators investigated did not wear any protective clothing during spraying. Although they knew about the potential human health risks of pesticides, the precautionary measures taken against exposure were very rare. The study also found that there are no any farmer's obligations with the pre-harvest interval (PHI). No existence of agricultural extension in the study area. The results about exposure of the farmers to residues of chlorpyrifos cypermethrin and lambda-cyhalthrin pesticides level in the washing water of their feet, hands and face found that the feet washing was at higher residual levels and frequencies (11-131 μg, 80-100%) of these pesticides, for face (˂4.5 ng-125 μg, 0-100%) and for hands (1.3-78 μg, 80-100%). Using of high pressure motor machines was showed at high contribution for the workers contamination (12-131 μg) compared with the backpack manual sprayer (˂4.5 ng-114 μg). Washing water of the sprayer’s top clothes was found at about thousand times higher residue levels (1.5 × 103-102 × 103 μg) of the tested pesticides than those levels determined on the surface of the feet, hands and face of the farmers investigated. These findings might be referred to the wide spread distribution of the spray solution by the high pressure motor. Chlorpyrifos residues were detected at high levels and frequencies, while another two insecticides at lower values. This study suggested that great efforts to reduce potential health risks from chemicals should be implemented to improve farmer awareness against pesticides application and its hazards. Agricultural extension should be existed to play an effective and responsible role in these efforts. An improved approaches including integrated pest management (IPM) and, in general, good agricultural practices (GAPs) must be followed as a strategy for continued crops production with minimal risks of pesticides to the environment and human health.


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