Burkina Faso - Severely hazardous pesticide formulation
Formulation: Emulsifiable concentrate formulations containing paraquat ion at or above 200g/L
Date published: 12/12/2010
Common and recognized patterns of use of the formulation within the proposing Party:
Used as a total herbicide. Provisional authorization of sale, valid for three years, granted by the Sahelian Pesticides Committee (Comité Sahélien des Pesticides) from May 2000 to June 2003 with recommended doses of 1.5 to 3 litres/hectare, and renewed in January 2004. Registration was cancelled in 2006 by the Sahelian Pesticides Committee.
Description of incidents related to the problem, including the adverse effects and the way in which the formulation was used:
Incidents were reported involving 53 males between 29 and 65 years old who had applied the product in the field. The incidents occurred from 1996-2010 in three provinces of Burkina Faso (Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades and Hauts Bassins). The product was used for cotton, rice and maize. The treatment is done one time only at the beginning of the season with a dosage of 2 to 3 litres/hectare. The average duration of exposure was 3 hours/hectare on an average area of 2 hectares/farm, for a total of 7 hours of exposure during an average of 1 to 2 days of treatment.
The product was applied using backpack sprayers. In many cases little or no personal protective equipment (PPE) was worn due to various factors, such as lack of financial means to acquire it, inappropriateness of PPE for local climatic conditions and an underestimation of the dangers of pesticides.
The adverse effects appeared immediately to several hours after the application of the pesticide. Symptoms reported included headache, excessive sweating, itching, tingling, burning of the skin, skin rashes and sores, complete destruction of the contaminated area, fever, dizziness, bone pains, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, cough, vision troubles, eye pains, ringing in the ears, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and locked jaw. In 15 cases the treatment was unknown, whereas treatment was administered in 26 cases, and in an additional 11 cases hospitalization was required.
Regulatory, administrative or other measure taken, or intended to be taken, by the proposing Party in response to such incidents:
A detailed report of a survey undertaken in three regions of the country (Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades and Hauts Bassins) on intoxications due to agricultural pesticides is available. The following actions have been undertaken to stop the use of this severely hazardous product:
- the distribution of the report of the survey to all relevant parties in the use and management of the pesticide,
- a workshop to present and validate the results of the survey was organised to increase awareness among the key stakeholders,
- the process to take a decision to prohibit the product will be launched by the Sahelian Pesticides Committee at its next meeting.