Environmental Exposures, Health Effects and Institutional Determinants of Pesticide Use in Two Tropical Settings
What are the environmental, health and regulatory dimensions of pesticide use in agriculture in low- and middle-income countries?

Summary

Pesticides are intensively used in agriculture worldwide. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the tropics have the highest annual average application rates of pesticides. Although it is well established that pesticide exposure accounts for considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide, only few studies from LMICs have determined the associated burden of disease, examined exposure pathways and investigated risk factors. In addition, the lack of a thorough understanding of government policies and institutional determinants hampers the implementation of integrated pest management.
This interdisciplinary research project, combining environmental monitoring and epidemiological studies, with institutional and policy analyses, aims to generate a deep understanding of the environmental, health and regulatory dimensions of pesticide use in two agricultural settings in Costa Rica and Uganda.

The underlying assumption of the project is that extensive application of pesticides, poor training, inadequate equipment and insufficient regulation result in increased exposure to pesticides, and consequently in elevated incidence of pesticide-related adverse health outcomes in farm workers. A particular focus of this project is on exposure routes to pesticides and associated risk factors. It is anticipated that in tropical areas differences in meteorological conditions, pesticide applications, dependency of ecosystem products and services, and institutional factors result in exposure pathways and risk factors that differ from those of developed countries in temperate climate zones.

Through the combination of environmental studies, epidemiology, public health and institutional analysis, this project will gain insights into different pesticide exposure routes and facilitate the translation of the research findings into setting-specific interventions and policy recommendations.

Keywords

  • Pesticide use
  • Organic farming
  • Conventional farming
  • Human health
  • Ecosystem health
  • Exposure pathways
  • Risk factors
  • Institutional resources regime
  • Agriculture

Disciplines

  • Environment
  • Health / Medicine
  • Political science

Collaborations

NGOs, state- or other institutions

  • Uganda National Association of Community and Occupational Health

Relevant Countries

  • Developing countries
  • Costa Rica
  • Uganda

Status

This is an ongoing project, which started in autumn 2016. The information here is updated regularly. If you have any inquiries please don’t hesitate to contact the project team via the form below.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Mirko Winkler
Coordinator
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Karin Ingold
Co-Coordinator
University of Berne

Christian Stamm
Co-Coordinator
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – Eawag

Samuel Fuhrimann
Principal Member
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Ana Maria Mora
Principal Member
Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica

Charles Niwagaba
Principal Member
Makerere University

Junior Researchers
Switzerland, Costa Rica and Uganda

Frederik Weiss
Principal Member
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – Eawag

Aggrey Atuhaire
Associated Member
Uganda National Association of Community and Occupational Health

Guéliado Cissé
Association Member
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institue

Mohamed Aqiel Dalvie
Associated Member
University of Cape Town

Rik Eggen
Associated Member
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag)

Erik Jørs
Associated Member
Syddansk Universitet

Leslie London
Associated Member
University of Cape Town

Hanna-Andrea Rother
Associated Member
University of Cape Town

Martin Röösli
Associated Member
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Juerg Utzinger
Associated Member
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute