S. Harpal Singh
‘Prolonged exposure to pesticides can cause serious illnesses’
Farmers don’t cover their nose and mouth while spraying pesticide
Teams mandated at mandal and village levels to create awareness
ADILABAD: Farmer Y. Madhusudan Reddy of Boath died on September 3, his death being the first this season that is ascribed to inhalation of poisonous vapour during a session of spraying of pesticide in his agriculture field. The fact that the death has come at the Bt cotton boom time has surprised agriculture experts including officials and necessitated some action on this front.
“Reduced use of pesticide sprays due to Bt cotton cultivation had almost put an end to the factor of accidental inhalation of poisonous vapour.
However, in the wake of this incident, we will undertake awareness drives at local levels,” said Joint Director of Agriculture C. Sayanna, when he learnt about the death.
Many farmers indulge in spraying insecticides in the field without taking even basic precautions like covering their nose and mouth with a scarf and avoiding spraying against the wind.
Any prolonged exposure under such conditions can result in serious illnesses and in worse conditions, death.
Though there are no recorded deaths attributed to poison inhalation, there are numerous incidents when farmers were treated for critical conditions that developed after they returned from spraying their fields.
“Before the arrival of Bt cotton, we used to get many complaints about poisoning due to inhalation of pesticide vapours. We have mandated our teams at mandal and village levels to cause awareness among farmers about wearing proper protection like that scarf and gloves in their hands.
You see, if a person handles even a beedi without properly sanitising his hands after a spray session is liable to develop acute poisoning symptoms,” added Mr. Sayanna.
The normal practice for farmers is to consume alcohol soon after returning from the fields.
“The giddiness and uneasiness caused due to exposure to the poisonous vapours goes away after a few drinks,” explained farmer Sanjeev Reddy of Pusai, about the effects.