Agriculture Department Field Offices May Again Recommend Five Pesticide Bans | Nagpur News

Nagpur: With pesticide spraying season set to begin at the end of the month, state agriculture department field offices plan to re-recommend a ban on the use of the five formulations that were used by victims death by inhalation.
In 2017, the state recorded a number of deaths from accidental inhalation of pesticides. The majority of the victims were agricultural workers. Of the 80 or so deaths in 2017, Yavatmal had the highest death toll. The deaths continued even in the following years.
A week ago, Durvas Hazare, 46, a farmer from Kinhi Dhanoli village of Hingna tehsil in Nagpur, fell unconscious after the spraying. He was admitted to Shalintai Meghe Hospital in Wardha where he died after five days. “Hospitals in Vidarbha start receiving such cases at the start of the spraying season,” said the doctor in charge.
Dr SP Kalantri, medical director of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), has also confirmed that he has encountered a number of cases of accidental inhalation. These patients are a regular scene of MGIMS, he said. Kalantri also tweeted a photo of a farmer undergoing treatment as he wrote that monocrotphos, a very dangerous pesticide, is readily available in India despite being banned in 112 countries. Farmers commonly use it for suicides.
Monocrotophos is one of five pesticides found in inhalation cases.
In anticipation of the season, the Yavatmal District Administration is also holding medical seminars to discuss the similarities between symptoms of Covid and inhaling pesticides. Either way, patients need oxygen support.
After the 2017 deaths, five formulations of pesticides – profefonos-cypermthrine, monocrotophos, profenil-imidachlopr, asataf, and difenthiron have been banned from time to time by the state government. The ban, however, remains for two months. A permanent ban must come from the Center.
A senior agriculture department in Yavatmal said a new recommendation may soon be sent to ban all five formulations to prevent accidents.
Accidental inhalation of pesticide fumes during spraying results in contact poisoning. It can also lead to the deaths of farmers and farm workers admitted to hospital for treatment. Many also survive because it is treatable.
Kishore Tiwari, chairman of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalban Mission (VNSSM), a state government task force on the agrarian crisis, said those who have recovered from Covid also insist they do not embark on spraying pesticides.
“There is already a protocol that people who undertake spraying work must first have a medical fitness certificate. Since it includes lung function as a parameter, those who have recovered from Covid naturally would not be eligible for the presitice spray. It would be up to the doctors issuing the certificate to verify the facts, ”Tiwari said.
Despite the ban, farmers prefer all five formulations, especially monocrotophos, because it is readily available. Agro-input dealers are also pushing the same formulations, sources said.
Surendra Kothari, director of an agricultural commodity marketing committee (APMC), at Hinganghat in Wardha, said general farmers rely on recommendations from dealers. They generally push all five formulations.

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