In addition to our country projects and regional work, CPSP also supports a number of special interest projects. This includes ongoing research into specific issues linked to pesticide suicide, supporting the development of guidance, and reviewing existing international legislation.
Our approach includes a focus on both public health and agriculture, bringing these two disciplines together to tackle the issue of pesticide suicide.
We undertake research to support policy makers implement legislation and policy on highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs).
Bans and restrictions on HHPs often face resistance from farmers and traders who are led to believe that there are no alternatives to deal with pests. CPSP is helping to identify alternative pest control measures for different crop and pest combinations. Using connections with agricultural advisory bodies, the biopesticides and pesticides industries, and academic research, CPSP provides reassurance to pesticide regulators that agriculture will not suffer as a result of regulatory action.
CPSP is helping to share knowledge and experience from countries that have successfully taken highly toxic pesticides out of use without affecting crop production. We are currently partnering with the Pesticide Action Network UK to collect and publish national experiences of replacing HHPs with less toxic pest control measures. We are also exploring how legislation to ban and restrict access to certain pesticides has been implemented across the globe.
Lack of data on pesticides responsible for poisonings and deaths, especially suicides, is a significant problem in low and middle-income countries. CPSP is working to improve guidelines and procedures for data collection on pesticide poisonings and suicides. This will help countries to implement bans and monitor the impact on health and agriculture.
Pesticide poisoning is difficult to manage in resource poor hospitals and most patients who present to hospital do not survive. CPSP is helping to develop guidelines to improve treatment of poisoned patients. These guidelines will take into account local conditions and contexts, providing advice to doctors working in local hospitals.
Pesticide poisoning is not only a health and environment problem, it is also a human rights violation. CPSP is engaged with human rights experts and institutions to raise awareness of the human rights issues associated with pesticide poisoning.
In 2021, we published a paper demonstrating that the State has an obligation to take positive measures to protect individuals’ right to life and right to health, including positive actions to prevent intentional pesticide poisoning.
This includes regulation of highly hazardous pesticides. By allowing easy access to lethal pesticides, States violate their duty.
CPSP priorities for human rights include:
*Warning: contains content about self-harm and suicide in children (age-restricted)*
CPSP is supporting academic research into the commercial determinants of health – the ways that commercial actors’ strategies and practices impact on health and the environment.
While industries such as tobacco have been researched extensively, little attention has been given to the pesticide industry.
We are contributing to research examining the activities of the pesticide industry. The findings will be discussed in relation to strategies of other industries.
Alcohol is an important risk factor for self-harm, but little is known about its involvement in pesticide self-poisoning.
We are undertaking research to better understand existing research into the role of alcohol in pesticide suicide.