Pesticides are among the most serious risks to the health of agricultural workers and surrounding rural communities. Occupational exposure to pesticides occurs while applying, mixing, washing contaminated clothes and empty containers etc. and through different exposure routes. The Rotterdam Convention is a multilateral agreement aiming at protecting human health and environment from the risks of hazardous pesticides and other chemicals that are still on trade and, for this reason, widely used in agriculture. To support developing countries and economies in transition, there is a specific article for detecting problems with certain pesticide formulations in the field. Under this framework, good experience has been gained in collecting data on occupational exposure to pesticides in the field, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups (women, children, young workers, seasonal workers) and in different regional contexts such as in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and in Africa. To provide guidance to Parties, a tool for monitoring and reporting pesticide poisoning incidents (Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulation – SHPF toolkit) has been developed with information on methodologies for data collection, examples of incident reporting systems and several awareness-raising materials. Reporting on pesticide incidents to the Rotterdam Convention has the advantage of making those incidents known to the world by sharing information with other countries which experience the same problems with specific pesticide formulations and allowing them to see if risk management measures are properly taken into account at national level.
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