Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
PEREIRA, Lexley M. Pinto; BOYSIELAL, Kim and SIUNG-CHANG, Avril. Pesticide regulation, utilization, and retailers' selling practices in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies: current situation and needed changes. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.2, pp. 83-90. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007000700002.
OBJECTIVE: To explore pesticide regulation in Trinidad and Tobago, and to ascertain pesticide utilization and retailers' selling practices on Trinidad, which is the larger of twin islands that constitute the republic of Trinidad and Tobago. METHODS: Between February and June 2005, agrochemical retailers in Trinidad were surveyed about the most frequently sold pesticides and their knowledge and practices of pesticide sale. The Poisons and Toxic Chemicals Control Board of the Ministry of Health informed on legislature. RESULTS: Of 107 actively trading licensed pesticide outlets, 97 participated (91% response rate) in the survey. Currently only 2.9% (21) of 720 registered products from four chemical classes are frequently utilized. Paraquat, methomyl, and alpha-cypermethrin (respective trade names are Gramoxone, Lannate, and Fastac) from World Health Organization (WHO) Hazard Classes I and II, and glyphosate isopropylamine (Swiper, Class U) are the most frequently purchased pesticides. Pet shops constitute 39.2% (38) of retail shops selling pesticides. No regulations guide pesticide sale to agriculturists, and children may purchase them. Inadequate human and technical resources render legislative controls ineffective and disciplinary action against offenders is weak. Extensive governmental resources are employed in legislative procedures and product approval for the very low, 2.9% utilization rate, negatively impacting on monitoring pesticide sales. The Poisons Information Centre (PIC) does not liaise with the Poisons and Toxic Chemicals Control Board or provide educational interventions for the community. As a result of this survey, it was possible to develop the first database to include the chemical, brand, and colloquial names of pesticides used in Trinidad and Tobago; WHO classification of approved pesticides; manufacturers; packaging; and antidotes and their availability for use by the Board and health professionals in Trinidad. CONCLUSIONS: Urgent critical evaluation of legislation regarding pesticide imports and use, and partnership with the Rotterdam Convention are recommended for Trinidad and Tobago. A strengthened Poisons Information Centre can provide educational initiatives and information on early management of pesticide exposure.
Keywords : Agriculture; commerce; government regulation; pesticides; poisoning; Trinidad and Tobago.