Nagpur/Yavatmal: Taking the aggressive stance on the deaths of farmers due to inhaling of poisonous pesticide in Vidarbha, the activists of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Wednesday gheroed the Agriculture offices in Yavatmal. The activists damaged furniture and sought explanation from higher officials.
At least 20 farmers in Yavatmal district, which falls under drought-prone Vidarbha region, have died allegedly after inhaling poisonous pesticides. Over 700 other farmers are being treated in various hospitals across the state. A preliminary investigation has revealed that ‘flawed’ China-made spraying pumps were the cause of the disaster. The China-made spraying pumps have flooded the market as they are cheap and can spray the crops for longer duration. But these pumps hurl droplets of the pesticide in the air and being light in weight the droplets remain in the atmosphere for longer time. If farmers fail to take proper care, the droplets can cause poisoning to the farmers.
Practically all pesticides are toxic to man and animals. Therefore, proper care should have been taken by farmers in storing, using and disposing them. For safe handling of pesticides, the following precautions may be taken: Use the pesticides strictly according to the instructions given on the container, the nozzle and other parts of the sprayer should never be cleaned with the mouth, persons handling pesticides should avoid the contact of the pesticides with their skin and inhalation of vapours or mists. They should wear rubber gloves and the face should be covered with a suitable mask, the operators should not smoke, eat or drink anything while applying pesticides. While spraying in open fields, the direction of the wind should be kept in mind, after spraying pesticides, the operators should wash their hands and face with soap and should take bath and change their clothes. The clothes worn by them during operations should be washed properly, in case pesticides are inhaled or consumed accidentally, a doctor should be called at once after giving the first aid. It is very important that the persons handling the pesticides should have a proper knowledge of the first aid to be given in case of any emergency.