‘Handlers of pesticides need professional training’

Institutions in the country have been urged to provide professional training to pesticides retailers, distributors and farmers, in order to reduce the risks associated with applying these agro-chemical products by end users.

Miss Akua Tiwaa Sebe, the Ahafo Regional Officer, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services (PPRS), at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), asserted on Wednesday in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, on the safety guidelines for pesticides handling.

She said pesticides posed health risks to humans and the environment, right from the manufacturing stage to usage, and final disposal saying that storage and handling at the point of supply to users are the major sources of risks.

The regional officer cautioned that pesticides should not be sold in shops that also sell food, drinks and medicine for human and animal consumption in order to guarantee their safety.

Miss Tiwaa added that pesticide should be stored and displayed separately and far from all other materials to avoid the possibility of contamination.

“The product should not be sold if its original container has cracked, rusted, and should not be transferred to a food or beverage containers. Pesticides should be sold in its original container” she noted.

The regional officer said emergency eye wash facilities, reliable source of running water, and potable water should be provided near the store entrance to decontaminate persons and animals.

Miss Tiwaa indicated that the floor and wall within the shop should be constructed with materials which were impervious to water, and should not crack easily saying that concrete flooring may be used.

She stressed that the shop should be dry, well ventilated with adequate natural air circulation and lightening, adding that the roofs should be built properly to avoid leakages.

According to the regional officer, there should be approved firefighting equipment available within the premises of the shop, and pesticides should be stored away from the reach of children, animals and unauthorised persons.

Miss Tiwaa advised that such shops should have facilities such as buckets with lime, sawdust, empty containers, spade and adequate water supply for cleaning pesticides spillage.

“Protective materials such as goggles, face shields, all-purpose gas masks, respirators, cloves, safety boots and dress should be used to handle and clean spilled pesticide” she stated.


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