Which countries have banned pesticides used in suicide?

Which international locations have banned pesticides utilized in suicide?

A Sri Lankan farmer sprays pesticides in a fieldPicture copyright
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Sri Lanka has banned or restricted a variety of pesticides

An estimated 150,000 individuals take their owns lives yearly by ingesting pesticides.

The UN has referred to as for more durable regulation to cut back the supply of those merchandise.

Sri Lanka banned a collection of pesticides over the course of 20 years and has seen a considerable discount within the variety of deaths.

However in different international locations, a number of the most toxic pesticide merchandise linked to suicides are nonetheless obtainable.


If extremely hazardous pesticides are recognized as a method of suicide in a rustic, these merchandise needs to be withdrawn and regulatory motion taken to minimise the dangers to well being

Pesticide self-poisonings have halved globally because the 1990s, however are nonetheless resulting in deaths in primarily poor rural communities in Asia.

Within the 1980s and 90s, Sri Lanka had one of many highest suicide charges on the earth and pesticide poisoning accounted for two-thirds of these deaths.

However authorities motion over 20 years to ban the merchandise getting used led to a 70% drop within the total suicide charge.

How the suicide charge modified in Sri Lanka

(Per 100,000 of the inhabitants)

Charges of self-harm remained roughly the identical whereas hospital admissions for pesticide self-poisoning actually increased.

This means individuals had been nonetheless trying to take their very own lives however the pesticides obtainable to them had been much less deadly.

To handle issues of the farming trade, substitute pesticides had been launched however with decrease toxicity ranges.

There’s little proof that changing extremely hazardous pesticides with safer alternate options lowers agricultural output, in response to the World Well being Group (WHO).

Regardless of the burden of proof, non-randomised research cannot fully rule out different causal elements.

Well being providers additionally improved throughout this era.

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Suicide is a significant issue in rural India

Official knowledge exhibits that in India there have been about 134,000 deaths from suicide in 2015, of which 24,000 had been attributable to pesticides.

Nonetheless, these deaths are seen as under-reported in India.

Folks usually cover suicides as unintentional deaths due to the concern of getting to report them to the police, says Dr Ashish Bhalla, on the Institute of Medical Training and Analysis in Chandigarh, India.

Evaluation by a bunch of UK-based lecturers of registered pesticides in India discovered that 10 extremely poisonous merchandise, generally utilized in suicides, have been banned by the Indian authorities and extra have been restricted or are attributable to be banned in 2020.

Nonetheless, there are greater than a dozen extraordinarily or extremely hazardous pesticides, in response to WHO tips, nonetheless obtainable.

What about elsewhere in Asia?

Comparable rules had been launched in Bangladesh in the course of the 2000s, which had been adopted by a declining suicide charge, whereas admissions for pesticides poisoning remaining unchanged, a 2017 research discovered.

It famous incomplete knowledge for a number of the different elements that may have affected the outcomes.

In 2012, South Korea banned a extremely poisonous weed killer. This resulted in an immediate decline in pesticide-poisoning suicides and helped scale back total loss of life charges.

A research protecting 2006 to 2013 in China discovered that as total suicide charges fell, self-poisoning noticed the quickest decline. This was attributed to a variety of things together with more durable rules, fewer individuals working in agriculture, urbanisation and higher well being and emergency providers.

China is believed to be answerable for the numerous international decline in these pesticide-related deaths.

Nepal has banned 21 pesticides since 2001 together with 5 this 12 months.

A few of these had been banned for basic well being and environmental causes, however a couple of particularly due to their use in suicides, says Dr Dilli Sharma, head of Nepal’s Pesticide Administration Centre.

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