Data were collected

February 2013 using an interview schedule translated in the Klaxon dialect to elicit information. Results showed that the respondents were mostly males, 43 years old, married, and finished secondary education. Most of the farmers were landowners with an average size of one hectare irrigated farmland. They had participated in local governance and members of associations. All farmers used insecticides to control rice pests. Most of them safely applied pesticides using knapsack sprayer, wore long-sleeves, long pants and faceless.

They stored pesticides safely by burying empty pesticide containers and some were burned. Farmers acquired their knowledge on pesticides from the Agricultural Technologists of LOGIC Baja assigned in the municipality. The health problems experienced associated with pesticide mishandling were skin rashes redness of skin disconsolation of the nails, shortness of breath, vomiting, itching of eyes and blurred vision. Generally, farmers had knowledge on the environmental and health hazards of pesticides. Keywords: Pesticides Knowledge Practices Environmental hazards Health hazards Pesticide residues INTRODUCTION increase rice production.

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However, studies shows that the unsystematic use of pesticides had resulted to ecological imbalances of farming system, worsening pest problems and creating harmful effects on environment and human health (Cocoon, 2012; Roll and Pinball, 1993). Kodiak and Palls (2008) revealed that the farmers lack of awareness and limited knowledge on the dangers of using pesticides were due to their difficulties to comprehend the complex agrochemical label instructions and health safety information of the use of pesticides. Rice farming is one of the major sources of income in the municipality of Baja, Klan.

Baja has a total population of 45,279 (Census of population and Housing, 2010) with 25 Barings engaged in rice farming. Most of the farmers attended trainings and seminars in rice production. However, increased production was given much attention rather than health and safety of farmers on the use of pesticides. Hence, this study attempted to examine the practices and knowledge of rice farmers on environmental and health hazards due to pesticide use. Statement of the Problem The study aimed to determine the practices and knowledge on environmental and health hazards of pesticide use in the of Baja.

Specifically, the study aimed to answer the following questions: 1 . What is the socio-demographic and economic profile of the respondents in terms of age, gender, educational attainment, marital status, number of children, number of years in farming, total area of farmland, type of farm, ownership of land, source of farm input, average rice production per cropping, and participation in local governance and associations? 2. What are the kinds of pesticides used by the farmers? 3. What are the practices adopted in handling, application, and disposal of farm pesticides? . What are the sources of knowledge on pesticides? 5. Hat are the symptoms associated with mishandling pesticides? 6. What is the knowledge of the respondents on the environmental and health hazards of using 2 METHODS Research Design The study used descriptive-survey method. The design described the characteristics or behavior of the respondents. Locale of the Study The municipality of Baja has 35 Barings and only seven Barings were selected in the study, considering the (a) highest hectare of irrigated fields and (b) highest number of registered farmers.

These Barings were Gasbag, Aquinas, Bataan, Lackawanna, Malcolm, Nail, and Nassau. Respondents of the Study The respondents of the study were the 99 rice farmers and 76 barraging officials of the seven Barings (Table 1). Sampling Techniques sampling with a random start. Research Instrument An interview schedule was used to get the needed information from the 99 farmers and 76 barraging officials. The interview schedule was translated in the Klaxon language to be easily understood by the respondents. Most questions asked were based from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (1991) related to safe pesticide use.

Data Gathering Procedure The researcher secured an approved letter from the Municipal Mayor of Baja to administer the interview schedule. Assistance from the Barraging Captains were also solicited prior to the conduct of the interview. Data Analysis Procedure Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency count, percent, rank and mean. 3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Socio-Demographic and Economic Profile of the Respondents Age. Almost 50 percent of the respondents were on their middle age. Gender. Most (83 percent) of the respondents were males and only 17 percent were females.

Educational attainment. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents finished secondary education. This indicates that they can read and comprehend the labels and instructions in the containers of pesticides. Number of children. The result of the study showed that farmers had 3-4 children. Number of years in farming. Farmers have been working on the field for nearly 31 years, while a few of them had 21-25 years farming experience. Source of farm input. Almost all the respondents had loans from relatives and local traders as source of farm inputs for farming activities. Average rice production per cropping.

The study showed that 36 percent of the farmers harvested between 21- 35 savannas per cropping and only very few farmers harvested between 36-50 savannas. Hectares. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) were farming one hectare of farmland, followed by 28 percent farming half hectare and 13 percent farming 1. 5-2 hectares, respectively. Ownership. A majority (63 percent) of the farmers were tenants and only 37 percent farm owners. Seminars/Trainings attended. Most of the respondents (77 percent) had attended training and seminars on the proper handling of pesticides while few (23 percent) had never attended at all.

Participation in association. Majority (62 percent) of the respondents had participated in the different activities of the associations in their respective Barings. While the rest (38 percent), had not participated at all. Participation in local governance. Majority (51 percent) of the respondents had not participated on local governance while 49 percent claimed to have participated like members of the barraging council. 4 Table 2 shows the different kinds of pesticide applied by the respondents. It showed that all of them applied insecticides on the field (rank 1) and only 69 among them used fungicides (rank 5).

Practices on Pesticide Handling, Storage, Application and Disposal Pesticide handling and storage practices. Table 3 shows the different practices of handling and storage f pesticide containers by the respondents. Out of the total 126 respondents, 115 of them separates pesticides from groceries (rank 1) and 56 of them do not stored pesticides together with gasoline or any volatile materials to avoid the chance of explosion or fire. Methods of pesticide application. A big number of farmers were spraying pesticides using the recommended knapsack sprayer (Piston-pump knapsack sprayer) which ranked first (Table 4).

However, there were still respondents that practiced broadcasting of granular insecticides. Pesticide disposal practices. Table 5 indicates the farmers disposal practices of empty pesticide containers practiced. Majority of the farmers buried their empty pesticide containers on the ground near their houses at a depth of 12 meters (ranked 1). Some farmers reported that they reused the containers (rank 2); left the containers in the field (rank 3), and few threw it away in the garbage (rank 4). The practices indicate that some farmers are less cautious on the effects pesticide in the environment.

Protective Gears worn by the Respondents Nearly half of the farmers wore protective gears like wearing long-sleeved shirt, faceless and long pants (Table 6). This was followed by those wearing hat with brim, schemas, long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves and long pants. However, others never wear any protective gears when spraying pesticides. Sources of Knowledge on Pesticide Use Table 7 indicates the farmers sources of knowledge on the use of pesticides. The most common source of information came from the Agricultural Technologists of LUG-labial assigned in the barraging.

Few others reported that it came from pesticide dealers. Symptoms Associated with Mishandling Pesticides The respondents reported that they had experienced dermal symptoms brought about by the mishandling of pesticides (Table 8). These symptoms 5 include skin rashes, redness of skin, and blackening of toe nails. Some experienced respiratory problem like shortness of breath and coughing. In terms of neurological problems, it was reported that they experienced headaches (rank 1) and fatigue (rank 2); while gastrointestinal problem was exhibited by vomiting and salivation.

There were also reports that some farmers had ophthalmic problems like itching of the eyes and blurred vision. Few fame’s admitted that they suffered abdominal pain after spraying pesticides. Knowledge on the Environmental and Health Hazards of Pesticide Use Table 9 summarizes the responses of the respondents on environmental and health hazards associated with pesticide use. Hazards on soil. Majority or 63 percent of the respondents agreed that pesticide continuous use of pesticide. Only 37 percent of the farmers had no idea about the hazardous effect of pesticides.

This shows that many are aware of the ill-effects of pesticides on soil. Hazards on air. Majority (70 percent) of the respondents were knowledgeable on the pesticide hazards on air like pollution, acid rain build-up, etc. Few (30 percent) had no idea at all. Hazards on water. Majority or 63 percent of the respondents agreed that continuous use of pesticide will contaminate bodies of water. Thirty-seven percent disagreed to the idea on the hazardous effect of pesticides on water. Hazards on humans and living organisms.

Majority or 65 percent of the respondent s affirmed that continuous use of pesticide could kill human and other non-target living organisms. It also creates pest resistance. Only 35 percent had no idea on the hazards posed on humans and other living organisms. CONCLUSIONS 1 . Most farmers were young adults, had secondary education, and participated on coal governance and associations in their barraging. Farmers had also undergone trainings or seminars on the proper handling and application of pesticides. 2. All the farmers used different kinds of pesticides to control pests in rice but the most frequently mentioned was insecticides. 3. Almost all the farmers sprayed pesticides using knapsack sprayer, wore ordinary protective clothing, stored pesticide in safe places, buried empty containers near their houses and burned them. 4. Most farmers reported that they have knowledge on the proper use of pesticides like handling, storage, application, and disposal of empty containers. . Farmers get the knowledge and information from the Agricultural Technologists of LUG-labial on the proper use of pesticides. 6. Several symptoms exhibited by farmers exposure to pesticides.

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