Assessing farmers' practices on disposal of pesticide waste after use.Sci Total Environ. 2008 Feb 15; 390(2-3):341-5.ST
Common practices of farmers on disposal of pesticide waste after use were surveyed in five regions of the rural area of Pieria in northern Greece using a structured questionnaire administered via personal interviews. Concerning leftover spray solutions, most farmers reported that they normally re-spray the treated field area until the spraying tank is empty (54.9%) or they apply the leftover spray solutions to another crop listed on the product label (30.2%). A minority of the farmers (4.3%) mentioned that they often release the leftover spray solutions near or into irrigation canals and streams. As regards rinsates generated from washing the application equipment, most farmers reported that they release the rinsates over a non-cropped area (45.7%) or they drop the rinsates near or into irrigation canals and streams (40.7%). Moreover, a great proportion of the farmers stated that they dump the empty containers by the field (30.2%) or they throw them near or into irrigation canals and streams (33.3%). Burning the empty containers in open fire (17.9%) or throwing the empty containers in common waste places (11.1%) was also reported. Several farmers stated that they continue to use old pesticides for spraying (35.8%). Training programs which raise awareness of farmers of the potential hazards of pesticide use and particularly of the proper management of waste products, recycling programs and collection systems for unwanted agricultural chemicals to prevent inappropriate waste disposal, as well as improving packaging of pesticides to minimize waste production are essential for promoting safety during all phases of pesticide handling.