Does ‘Safer Storage’ Reduce Agricultural Pesticide Self-poisoning in Rural Asia? Professor Flemming Konradsen & Professor Michael Eddleston

Apr 17, 2020 | behavioural sciences, earth and environment, health and medicine, trending

Original Article Reference

This SciPod is a summary of the paper ‘Effectiveness of household lockable pesticide storage to reduce pesticide self-poisoning in rural Asia: a community-based, cluster-randomised controlled trial’, from The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31961-X

About this episode

Attempting suicide by ingesting pesticides is a major public health problem in rural Asia. In Sri Lanka, pesticide self-poisoning is the most common method used in suicide attempts in many rural areas. Globally, it accounts for as many as one in every five of the world’s suicides. Many people have recommended ‘safer storage and use’ as the answer to the problem. A group of Sri Lankan and international researchers took on the challenge to test, on a large scale, whether improving pesticide storage in households would actually reduce the frequency of self-poisoning with pesticides. Remarkably, they found no benefit from this approach at all. These findings have important implications for global policies aiming to reduce the incidence of suicide and self-harm.




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