The Environmental Protection Agency, with the Ghana Environmental Resource Management Project(GEMP),is updating the skills of Agro-Input dealers and extension officers in Northern Ghana on the legal framework for the control and management of pesticides.

A five-day workshop, which began at Wa, on Monday, would educate Agro-Input dealers to be abreast with their roles and responsibilities under the Ghana Pesticides Law.

The extension officers, including legally appointed pesticides inspectors, would be equipped with the required expertise for post-registration surveillance and monitoring of pesticides.

The participants who came from the Northern, Upper East and West regions, are also expected to discuss such topics as Registered Pesticides and Use Patterns, Understanding the Pesticide Label, Transportation of Pesticides, Personal Protective Equipment, Pesticides’ Poisoning-Symptoms and Signs, First Aid Treatment and Emergency Procedures.

They would further cover the Handling of Spillage of Pesticides, Construction and Safe Management of Pesticides at Retail Shops, Pesticides Record Keeping and undertake field inspections.

Mr. Joseph Edmund, a resource person, advised pesticides dealers to know how to respond to pesticide spills and never allow any such spillage to get into any body of water, including sewers and drains.

He said when a water body is contaminated the relevant state agencies must be contacted immediately and the EPA, National Disaster Management Organization, Police and the Assembly member in the locality notified.

According to him, pesticides had power to kill or cause serious damage to the body and chronic toxicity occurs when a person is regularly exposed to small amounts of pesticides over time.

In the long term, this, he stated, would produce health defects such as tumours, birth defects, reproductive function problems, allergic reactions and carcinogenic effects.

Source: GNA