There are close to 29,000 farms in Québec that are employing some 125,000 workers. Pesticides are used on these farms to control crop pests, but they can have short-term as well as long-term health effects on farm workers exposed to them, mainly through the skin. Pesticide use is controlled and several risk prevention measures are recommended. Personal protective equipment plays a key role in reducing the risks of exposure.
However, because of the lack of data on occupational illnesses and injuries caused by pesticides in Québec, the current prevention message is not getting across.
A new multidisciplinary study is presenting a status report on the use of personal protective equipment to shield workers from agricultural pesticides, describing the contexts and practices of pesticide use in Québec’s apple industry and offering a preliminary priority list of the top pesticides necessitating protective measures. Possible courses of action are also suggested and discussed.
Researchers made an in-depth investigation of personal protective equipment, documented the context and practices related to pesticide use among Québec apple growers, and categorized the main pesticides used in apple growing, according to their level of risk.