+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica

Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica

Environmental Research 111(5): 708-717

The Talamanca County in Costa Rica has large-scale banana and small-scale plantain production, probably causing pesticide exposure in indigenous children. We explored to what extent different community actors are aware of children's pesticide hazards and how their awareness related to socio-economical and cultural conditions. Methods comprised eight focus groups with fathers and mothers separately, 27 semi-structured interviews to key actors, and field observations. As a whole, the indigenous plantain farmers and banana plantation workers had some general knowledge of pesticides concerning crop protection, but little on acute health effects, and hardly any on exposure routes and pathways, and chronic effects. People expressed vague ideas about pesticide risks. Inter-community differences were related to pesticide technologies used in banana and plantain production, employment status on a multinational plantation versus smallholder status, and gender. Compared to formalized practices on transnational company plantations, where workers reported to feel protected, pesticide handling by plantain smallholders was not perceived as hazardous and therefore no safety precautions were applied. Large-scale monoculture was perceived as one of the most important problems leading to pesticide risks in Talamanca on banana plantations, and also on neighboring small plantain farms extending into large areas. Plantain farmers have adopted use of highly toxic pesticides following banana production, but in conditions of extreme poverty. Aerial spraying in banana plantations was considered by most social actors a major determinant of exposure for the population living nearby these plantations, including vulnerable children. We observed violations of legally established aerial spraying distances. Economic considerations were most mentioned as the underlying reason for the pesticide use: economic needs to obtain the production quantity and quality, and pressure to use pesticides by other economic agents such as middlemen. Risk perceptions were modulated by factors such as people's tasks and positions in the production process, gender, and people's possibilities to define their own social conditions (more fatalistic perceptions among banana workers). The challenge for the future is to combine these insights into improved health risk assessment and management that is culturally adequate for each particular community and agricultural context.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 054951804

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21396636

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2011.02.009

Related references

Planting systems for plantain in Talamanca, Costa Rica. Agronomia Costarricense 12(2): 175-181, 1988

Dung beetle and terrestrial mammal diversity in forests, indigenous agroforestry systems and plantain monocultures in Talamanca, Costa Rica. Biodiversity and Conservation ruary; 15(2): 555-585, 2006

Which and how many laurel trees can be harvested in indigenous cocoa and banana farms of Talamanca, Costa Rica?. Agroforesteria En Las Americas: , 104-109, 2008

Pesticide exposure and neurodevelopment in children aged 6-9 years from Talamanca, Costa Rica. Cortex; A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior 85(): 137-150, 2016

Pesticide application practices, pest knowledge, and cost-benefits of plantain production in the Bribri-Cabécar Indigenous Territories, Costa Rica. Environmental Research 108(1): 98-106, 2008

Carbon storage in fallows and agroforestry systems with cacao and banana on indigenous farms of the Bribri and Cabecar peoples of Talamanca, Costa Rica. Agroforesteria En Las Americas: , 30-33, 2008

Impact of a silvicultural intervention in a high oak forest in Costa Rica: a case study in the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Revista Forestal Centroamericana 5(17): 30-37, 1996

How to involve the local population in monitoring biodiversity? Ideas from Talamanca, Costa Rica. Agroforesteria en las Americas 10(37/38): 18-23, 2003

Logging, timber yield and carbon losses in Cordia alliodora residues from natural regeneration in cacao and banana plantations in Talamanca, Costa Rica. Agroforesteria En Las Americas: , 34-39, 2008

The Effects of Cropping Systems on Avian Communities in Cacao and Banana Agro-Forestry Systems of Talamanca, Costa Rica. Biotropica 43(1): 68-76, 2011

Proceedings of the workshop on biotechnology applications for banana and plantain improvement, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, 27-31 January 1992. Proceedings of the workshop on biotechnology applications for banana and plantain improvement, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, 27-31 January 1992: 251 pp., 1993

Surveillance and epidemiology of occupational pesticide poisonings on banana plantations in Costa Rica. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 4(3): 199-201, 1999

Energy and carbon footprints of ethanol production using banana and cooking banana discard: A case study from Costa Rica and Ecuador. Biomass and Bioenergy 35(7): 2640-2649, 2011

Pesticide-related illness and injuries among banana workers in Costa Rica: a comparison between 1993 and 1996. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 7(2): 90-97, 2001

Water quality and macroinvertebrate community response following pesticide applications in a banana plantation, Limon, Costa Rica. Science of the Total Environment 367(1): 418-432, 2006