Epidemiology of the health impact of pesticide use in Zimbabwe
Nhachi, Charles F. B.
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About 30-50 per cent of the workers on large-scale commercial farms involved in pesticide use in Zimbabwe are exposed to organophosphates during the spraying season. Pesticide exposure is associated with use of manual techniques, little provision of protective clothing and inadequate safety information. There is evidence that pesticide exposure spills over into non-spravers and into the communities living on farms. Hospital admissions for acute poisoning appeal' to be a poor guide to the extent of sub-acute or chronic exposure to pesticides, given the extent of exposure documented in the surveys. The use of simple biological monitoring techniques can be extremely useful in epidemiological assessment of patterns and possible sources of exposure. The findings of the studies reported in this chapter add weight to the growing body of evidence that there is a need for a greater allocation of resources towards identifying and controlling the negative health impact of pesticide use in developing countries.