Risk Factors for Chronic and Acute Pesticide Poisoning among Waged and Licensed Farm Workers in Rural Trinidad and Tobago

Priscilla De Verteuil, Wendy-Ann Patrice Isaac


Agricultural pesticide applicator’s work ranks high amongst the most hazardous occupations as it relates to workplace illnesses. Yet, little is done to protect this vulnerable occupational group who are routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides in the fields where they work in Trinidad. This study seeks to identify and assess the behaviours and common practices of waged pesticide applicator farm workers, which put them or their family members at risk of becoming acutely or chronically
poisoned. In this paper, both descriptive and inferential analyses were performed on the results from 97 verbally administered questionnaires. The results showed the various risky practices that farm workers are regularly engaged in that increases their likelihood of suffering from illnesses that are related to acute and chronic pesticide poisoning and highlights the need for more emphasis on training in occupational health and safety in pesticide use in Trinidad and Tobago.

Keywords: risk factors; pesticide poisoning; farm workers

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.