Introduction There are concerns about safety culture and health effects of pesticides in agricultural workers in the Adana Province of Turkey. The aim of this study is to evaluate knowledge level of farmers in the Çukurova region on the health effects of pesticides, use of protective equipment as well assessment of attitudes and practices about the use of pesticides.
Methods A total of 420 seasonal agricultural workers in Karataş District of the Province of Adana Turkey were included in the study. The questionnaire was administered using face-to-face interview method.
Results The mean age of the participants was 40.2±10.6 years, engaged in farming for a mean duration of 18.5±10.6 years. All were applicating pesticides, but none had been trained in the safe use of pesticides. Concerning working practices and health aspects:
26.2% stored pesticides in a secured depot.
4.3% took empty pesticide containers to special collection bins or centers.
84.0% thought that pesticides could have a negative impact on human health.
5.0% experienced a medical problem after application of pesticides.
1.0% reported acute poisoning after applying pesticides.
Discussion The knowledge level of agricultural workers about safe use of pesticides in this study population is very poor. This lack of knowledge adversely affects occupational health and safety. Appropriate training programs will be organized to increase their level of knowledge.
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