The human costs of pesticide exposure
These pesticides use up to 43 active ingredients, some of which are restricted in Canada and the United States. The farmers wear no special protective clothes, and mix pesticides with their hands or a stick. In addition, the pesticides are stored in the farmhouse, and there are inadequate waste and disposal facilities.
Health studies financed by a group of Western aid agencies have now documented how the potato farmers suffer from decreased mental capacity caused by high exposure to chemical insecticides. This is lowering their productivity by impairing their ability to make good farming decisions.
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Reference: IDRC Reports, 27 April 2001