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A Toxics-Free Future


Preliminary investigation on the health effects of paraquat in Mindanao, Philippines

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Philippines, in collaboration with Community Based Health Services (CBHS) Mindanao, conducted several capacity-building activities with peasant groups, farmers and residents of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, agricultural areas heavily impacted by the use of hazardous pesticides. These included focus groups, key informant interviews, and information dissemination about the dangers of pesticides and alternatives to pesticide use (such as IPM) available to them. Subsequently, a medical fact finding mission by PAN and CBHS revealed many workers and residents with symptoms aligned with exposure to highly hazardous pesticides such as the herbicide paraquat, a pesticide commonly used in the local banana and oil palm plantations. Direct community assistance was offered in the form of medical care, financial support, lobbying national level officials, and further participatory mobilization efforts.

Seminar with oil palm plantation workers

Romy Quijano examining an oil plantation worker