A Cross-Sectional Survey on the Awareness of Pesticide Labels and Pesticide Safety Pictograms among Paddy Farming In South India
Background: Hazardous pesticides continue to be used in thefarming industry purely because of economic reasons. Farmersneed to understand this risk. Pesticide labels and pictograms wereenforced to propagate this risk information to the farmers in asimple way. However, their effectiveness has not been evaluated inIndia. This study attempts to evaluate the efficacy of these labelsand pictograms to help farmers understand the pesticide risks.Methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey wasconducted among 172 paddy farmers in Kancheepuram districtof Tamil-Nadu, India. Their interpretation of four pesticidelabels and fifteen pesticide safety pictograms were analyzedusing (SPSS version 20) for descriptive statistics. Chi-squaretest was used for dichotomic variables. A p value of < 0.05 wasconsidered significant.Results: Of the 172 farmers interviewed, 93% were unawareof the pesticide regulations and 72.6% had never attempted toread the labels. Only, the red color in the label was identifiedcorrectly by 66.1% of farmers. Four out of fifteen pictogramswere interpreted correctly by more than 60% of the farmers.Educational status had a significant influence on the way thelabels and pictograms were interpreted.Conclusion: We need to consider restructuring these labels ina more scientific way. Instead of a top-down approach, we needto start working at the grass root level if we tend to have betterappreciated labels. It is recommended that plans and strategiesshould be devised to educate the farmers about the labels andpictograms.