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Anticipating the effects of pesticides on farmworkers health based on real practices : the case of banana plantation

Abstract : Ecosystems and people are exposed every day to multiple chemical stressors via multiple pathways and routes due to economic and population growth. Considering that the use of pesticides is especially prone to potentially damage health in the workplace, we decided to design a dedicated method.This thesis project aims to develop a method to examine the comparative effects of different agricultural production systems on operators’ health because of pesticide. The objective is to enable the assessment of a comprehensive set of information for decision support purposes, considering the actual (good and bad) work practices. Furthermore, a decision support tool for different stakeholders (plantation managers at first) to discriminate between several production systems regarding their potential impact on farmworkers health, is under development. This method has to be based on readily available data in a reasonable time, and corresponding to meaningful data for managers, to provide them opportunities of action in crop innovation. We followed four steps: seeking help of experts; constructing knowledge trees; developing decision trees; calculating the potential impact on farmworkers health due to pesticides for operators at different scales, and regarding one given farming system in a feasibility test.The first phases were implemented through a Delphi expert consensus method eliciting knowledge from agronomists, economists and exposure assessment specialists, in order to map the different “banana workflows” and the origins of good and bad practices.After getting and interpreting results of the indicator calculation in the feasibility test, we ought to propose improvements of the method.We decided to carry out a feasibility test through semi-structured interviews. We flank these interviews with direct observation of operators and workers accomplishing the different steps of the production. The aim of this comparison is to cross- check both what experts referred in their narration (information present in trees), and what the interviewed persons declared. Conventional (non-organic) producers were selected for interviews.This research work contributes to the study of the way in which human capital (considered like an input in the MCM approach) could be consummate to reach determined results in terms of export market.The present work aims encouraging decent work through identification of possible choices less harmful to health and ensuring healthy environment and safety. The result of this entire thesis work is formalized in a meso-scale pathway, named “Wesseling pathway”.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:20:28 PM
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Silvia Di Cesare. Anticipating the effects of pesticides on farmworkers health based on real practices : the case of banana plantation. Toxicology. Université Montpellier; Università degli studi G. D'Annunzio (Chieti, Italie), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018MONTG016⟩. ⟨tel-01869841⟩



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