Health and Safety of Pesticide Applicators in a high income agricultural setting: a knowledge, attitude, practice, and toxicity study from North-Eastern Italy


Agricultural workers
Knowledge attitudes and practices (KAP)
Personal hygiene and sanitation
Personal protective equipment (PPE)


Background. We assessed knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding pesticide handling and related health problems among pesticide applicators (PAs) from the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy.

Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was performed in spring 2016, involving 260 PAs. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with a safer use of pesticides.

Results. The mean age of participants was 48.8 ± 13.2 years. 89.2% were males. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) was diffuse, particularly gloves (92.7%), face mask (91.2%), and post-spraying personal hygiene practices were extensively applied. Overall, 43.5% had experienced pesticide-related symptoms especially in subjects misusing PPE, but also for avoiding hygienic procedures. Knowledge about pesticides was a significant predictor for frequency of symptoms.

Conclusions. As a better knowledge of pesticide-related risks was a significant predictor to reduce symptoms, our results stress that improving awareness and promoting safe use of pesticide may improve the health of PAs.


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