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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.54 (5) (Sep - Oct, 2013) (521-525)

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH HAZARDS OF FARM WOMEN IN FARM ACTIVITIES

Sushila Devi and Mukesh Shrivastav
C.S. Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur (U.P.)

Neelma Kanwar
Officer Incharge, ECM Department, Faculty of Home Science
C.S. Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur (U.P.)

Abstract

Women’s occupations are fluid and multi-dimensional. The first problem is to learn what those activities really involve in different situations and cultures ; a simple occupational category is seldom sufficient as a basis for establishing specific health risk. Agricultural workers may dig and hoe and apply fertilizers and pesticides, but not all the workers will perform all of those tasks and where the tasks are segregated by gender the health implications for men and women may be very different. Basically hazards posed by physical, chemical and biological agents in work place are similar for male and female workers but the discussed factors have to be remembered for women workers.

Key words: Occupation, hazards, activities.

Farmers in the developing countries heavily rely on the use of chemical pesticides to get rid of their pest problems. In this process, a large quantity of these toxic chemicals remain in the environment and cause irreparable human health hazards, and the symptoms may vary from headache to cancers. Pesticides are major source of occupational injury and illness to which farmers are exposed, typically associated with poverty and illiteracy. Farm women often suffer from itching, burning, sensation on their hands and feet, as well as watering eyes after spraying pesticides or working in freshly sprayed fields. Some pesticides are more toxic than others. Excessive use of such pesticides can cause illness or even death. Simple first aid measures, if applied at the right time, can help to save many lives.

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