Background Brazil is one of the world leaders in pesticide consumption and exposed workers are numerous and diversified. The indiscriminate application of pesticides affects both human health and natural ecosystems.
Objective Identify the level of knowledge of rural workers as to the use of Individual Protection Equipment (IPE) and the risk of direct handling of agro-toxics and making them aware of the importance of such knowledge.
Methods This is a descriptive study with quantitative approach of an epidemic. With the aid of a semi-structured instrument was possible to identify the biopsychosocial characteristics of the subjects, data on working conditions and illness.
Results 72 rural workers were interviewed (surveyed), mostly men. As to their knowledge of IPE, 66(92%) reported having it, but despite having such knowledge, 44 (61%) reported nor using any of such required equipment. As to the knowledge of the harm that agro-toxics can cause to their health, 65 (90%) of the rural workers said they have it, while 7(10%) said they know of none. Collected data show that 65(67%) of the interviewed workers never had been intoxicated, while 7(33%) have already been intoxicated at least once.
Contribution to the Field The result of this research shows the need for an intervention in this area, they provide instruments for nurses to promote actions as to the reduction of intoxication and greater awareness of what intoxication.
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