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Pesticide use can have adverse effects on both human health and the environment. Inappropriate use of pesticides increases the health risk to those who work with or live around pesticides. Educational programs for agricultural workers on the proper use of pesticides and personal protective equipment coupled with pesticide regulations are important tools to reduce the associated health risks. The authors conducted a survey (N=2336) on pesticide use practices in the Ararat Valley of Armenia in 2000-2006. This study was a cross-sectional design. A multistage sampling method was implemented in the selection of the study population. The authors developed a questionnaire containing 173 questions to evaluate demographic characteristics, health conditions, and details of pesticides use practices. The intensity of pesticide use was high; 82.8% of respondents used them. More than 150 brand names of pesticides were in use. Unregistered, obsolete, expired, and banned compounds were found in active use. Poor compliance with the basic rules of pesticide safety was found throughout the study population, with 21.3% using gloves and only 11% using respirators. The agricultural workers' knowledge of the toxic properties of these pesticides as well as basic hygienic norms was very low. In some instances, the number of agrichemical applications to crops, particularly cucumbers and melons, reached 40 applications during the growing season. Better protection and training of pesticide users in Armenia is needed.
author list (cited authors)
Tadevosyan, A., Tadevosyan, N., Kelly, K., Gibbs, S. G., & Rautiainen, R. H.