Pesticide ingestion is the second most common means of suicide in the world - of the more than 800 000 individuals who die from suicide each year (one death every 40 seconds), 10-20% die from pesticide self-poisoning. Conservative estimates suggest that there are 100-150,000 deaths from pesticide self-poisoning worldwide each year. It is mainly a problem affecting poor agricultural communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where farmers have direct access to highly hazardous pesticides and frequently use them on their fields. In some countries, high concentration pesticides are sold in convenience stores next to food and other commonly used items.
In many low-income countries, the number of pesticide suicides increased dramatically with the Green Revolution and the consequent introduction of pesticides to small scale farming in the 1960s. The overall suicide rate (from any means) more than quadrupled in some countries as a result of the this change in farming.
Countries, communities and families suffer tremendous individual, social, and economic loss and suffering as a result of pesticide suicides
World Health Organization. Preventing suicide. A global imperative. Geneva: WHO; 2014. See http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/131056/1/9789241564779_eng.pdf
WHO, Fact Sheet on Suicide (2017), Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en/.
Knipe DW et al.Suicide prevention through means restriction: impact of the 2008-2011 pesticide retrictions on suicide in Sri Lanka. Plos ONe 2017, 12: e0172893. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28264041