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Pesticide use, alternatives and workers' health in Cuba.

Authors
  • Alexander, R
  • Anderson, P K
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1984
Volume
14
Issue
1
Pages
31–41
Identifiers
PMID: 6715092
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cuba provides a unique example of a country that is actively implementing a program to reduce its dependence on pesticides. This paper addresses Cuba's current efforts to develop and implement alternatives to pesticides and legislation to limit exposure and protect workers in the interim. In 1980 Cuba embarked on a national program to utilize alternatives to chemical pest control. This three-part program includes expansion of knowledge of Cuban agro-ecology in order to implement cultural control practices; research and implementation on biological control of pests; and research on plant resistance and development of resistant crop varieties. To date, the program has enabled Cuba to reduce pesticide usage in sugar cane, citrus, tobacco, corn, and vegetable crops, among others. While alternatives to chemical pest control are being developed, the Cubans are paying special attention to regulating pesticide use and the safety of workers and members of the public exposed to toxic chemicals. In addition to the Resolution on Health and Safety (1967) and the Safety and Health Law (1978) which cover all workers, including Cuba's 250,000 agricultural workers, the Ministry of Public Health promulgated Resolution 335 in 1967. This resolution addresses requirements and administration of structural pest control, production, importation, transport and storage of pesticides, as well as requirements for worker contact with pesticides, pesticides for domestic use, aerial application of pesticides, and violations of the regulations. The paper concludes with a description of how the system works on the provincial level, as exemplified by Villa Clara, and the steps that have been taken to eliminate worker exposure to pesticides, to utilize pesticides which pose less of a hazard to workers, and to assure early detection of ill effects.

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