Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Brazilian family farmers on pesticide exposure
Keywords:Pesticides, Farmworkers, Family farming, Knowledge, Knowledge, attitudes and practices, Risk perception
This paper discusses the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of Brazilian family farmers regarding the impact of pesticides on health and the environment. This mixed cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 in São José de Ubá, Rio de Janeiro, encompassing two stages: one qualitative, based on field observations and interviews with 25 participants on KAP about pesticides; and one quantitative, concerning sociodemographic data and pesticide exposure assessment with 78 farmers. Despite partially recognizing the danger of pesticides, farmers face the risks of exposure and commonly adopt inappropriate work practices. Lack of technical support and occupational training, low schooling, difficulty in understanding the instructions on pesticide labels, the price and discomfort caused by protection equipment, and the belief in the need for pesticide use, partially explain the unsafe attitudes. Effective and immediate prevention of pesticide-related injuries and diseases requires promoting more sustainable agricultural practices, strengthening technical support and occupational training, improving communication and risk management of pesticides, and reducing gender inequalities among Brazilian farmers.
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