Why don’t pesticide applicators protect themselves? Exploring the use of personal protective equipment among Colombian smallholders
Feola, G. and Binder, C. R. (2010) Why don’t pesticide applicators protect themselves? Exploring the use of personal protective equipment among Colombian smallholders. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 16 (1). pp. 11-23. ISSN 1077-3525
Official URL: http://www.ijoeh.com/index.php/ijoeh/article/view/...
The misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticide application was investigated among smallholders in Colombia. The integrative agent-centered (IAC) framework and a logistic regression approach were adopted. The results suggest that the descriptive social norm was significantly influencing PPE use. The following were also important: (1) having experienced pesticide-related health problems; (2) age; (3) the share of pesticide application carried out; and (4) the perception of PPE hindering work. Interestingly, the influence of these factors differed for different pieces of PPE. Since conformity to the social norm is a source of rigidity in the system, behavioral change may take the form of a discontinuous transition. In conclusion, five suggestions for triggering a transition towards more sustainable PPE use are formulated: (1) diversifying targets/tools; (2) addressing structural aspects; (3) sustaining interventions in the long-term; (4) targeting farmers’ learning-by-experience; and (5) targeting PPE use on a collective level.