Safe storage of pesticides in Sri Lanka - identifying important design features influencing community acceptance and use of safe storage devices

Weerasinghe, Manjula; Pieris, Ravi; Eddleston, Michael; van der Hoek, Wim; Dawson, Andrew; Konradsen, Flemming
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p276
Academic Journal
Background: Self-poisoning with pesticides is the cause of an estimated 300,000 deaths annually in rural Asia. The great majority of these deaths are from impulsive acts of self-harm using pesticides that are readily available in the home. The secure storage of pesticides under lock has been emphasized as a possible answer to the problem. This aspect, however, has been poorly researched. In this paper, we report on the design and use, in rural Sri Lanka, of a variety of different lockable storage devices. Methods: Following a baseline survey of pesticide storage practices, randomly selected households received a pesticide safe storage device. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase a total of 200 households in two villages were provided with in-house safe storage devices and two follow-up surveys were conducted seven and 24 months after distribution. The results of the seven month post-distribution survey have already been published. In the second phase, a further 168 households were selected in two additional villages and given a choice between an in-house and an in-field storage device and a follow-up survey conducted seven months after distribution. Both follow-up surveys aimed to assess the use of the device, obtain detailed user feedback on the different storage designs, and to identify problems faced with safeguarding the key. Twelve focus group discussions were held with representatives of households that received a storage device to derive from the community qualitative feedback on the design requirements for such devices. Results: One hundred and sixty one of the 200 households selected during the first phase were using pesticides at the time of the follow-up survey, 24 months after distribution. Of these 161 households 89 (55%) had the pesticides stored and locked in the provided device. Among the 168 households that were given a choice between an in-house and an in-field storage device 156 used pesticides at the time of survey and of these 103 (66%) selected in-field storage devices and 34% chose in-house storage devices. Of the 156 households, 106 (68%) stored all pesticides in a locked storage device at the time of the follow-up survey seven months after distribution. The majority of households that received an in-field storage device chose to install the device within their compound rather than in the field as they were concerned about the possibility of theft. The preferred design of the storage device was influenced by a number of occupational factors such as land size, crop patterns, types and the quantity of pesticides used. The presence of termites, perceived safety, material used to manufacture the device and ease of location influenced their choice. The study revealed that it was difficult to keep the key to the device hidden from children; and that the person in charge of the key would have easy access to the stored poison. Conclusion: This study confirms the high acceptance of lockable storage devices by the community although the use of the device reduced over time. A large proportion of pesticides stored within the compound after the introduction of the device may have implications for accessibility to pesticides in the domestic environment. The ability of other household members, including children, to easily find the key is also worrying


Related Articles

  • Disposal of out-of-date pesticides.  // Garden;Dec2013, Vol. 138 Issue 12, p31 

    The article offers advice on the disposal of out-of-date pesticides such as avoiding to dispose them down drains, rinsing pesticide contents that have held concentrated products, and recycling empty ready-to-use pesticide containers.

  • Tips on safe pesticide, container disposal.  // Nebraska Farmer;Sep2013, Vol. 154 Issue 9, p18 

    The article offers tips on how to properly dispose pesticides and their containers including the practice of careful calibration and application, disposal of contaminated clothes and rinsing empty containers using a pressure rinser or the triple-rinse method.

  • Missouri recycles pesticide containers.  // Waste News;11/25/96, Vol. 2 Issue 28, p6 

    Announces the participation of Missouri with aid from Missouri Ag Industries Council Incorporated, in a clean pesticide container recycling program. Information on the Missouri program.

  • Don't drink me.  // New Internationalist;Apr97, Issue 289, p5 

    Reports on an alarm chip attached to pesticide containers to alert users to important safety information in the United States.

  • Pesticide Containers. Gehibach, Stephen H.; Williams, Wilton A. // Archives of Environmental Health;Jan1975, Vol. 30 Issue 1 

    Evaluates the contributions of pesticide containers to poisoning in the United States. Importance of containers on the epidemiology of pesticide poisonings; Investigations on the difficulty of container disposal exposure; Achievement of remedies on container hazards through the existing laws.

  • Southern New Jersey 2011 Plastic Pesticide Container Collection Schedule.  // Plant & Pest Advisory: Vegetable Crops;3/16/2011, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p4 

    A calendar of events for the Southern New Jersey 2011 plastic pesticide container collection is presented with locations such as Helena Chemicals Co. in Atlantic County, Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex, and Helena Chemical Co. in Salem County.

  • Pesticide Container Decontamination by Aqueous Wash Procedures Deinzer, M. L.; Lamberton, J. G.; Thomson, P. A.; Witt, J. M. // Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology;Nov1976, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p528 

    No abstract available.

  • Rinsing and Recycling Caged Tanks to be subject of free July 10 webinar.  // Southeast Farm Press Exclusive Insight;7/ 1/2013, p7 

    The article offers information on the webinar, Rinsing and Recycling Caged Tanks, sponsored by the Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (PSA) to be held on July 10, 2013.

  • Keep pesticide equipment clean.  // Nebraska Farmer;Mar2012, Vol. 154 Issue 3, p30 

    The article offers guidelines on how to keep pesticide equipment clean which include cleaning both inside and outside thoroughly, choosing a location to clean a sprayer, and cleaning and replacing screens and strainers frequently.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics