The Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) of the Ministry of Agriculture today, graduated thirty-six Pest Control Applicators (PCA’s) at the Basic and intermediate levels.
At a ceremony held in Georgetown, Chairman of the PTCCB and lead trainer for the pesticide handling course, Dr. Leslie Munroe, said that the basic pesticide applicator course started in 2012 and to date has graduated 128 persons over the four year period. He also said the intermediate level course started in 2014 and has graduated 42 persons thus far.
Munroe explained that the law prescribes that all persons dispensing pesticides and other toxic chemicals ought to be certified.
“The law says that anybody who wants to release these toxic substances in the environment must be certified by the PTCCB. The PTCCB has agreed to provide three levels of training for everyone. The idea is that nobody must release pesticides in the environment without knowing what they are doing,” Munroe said.
Munroe, highlighted some of the dangers which this practice pose to individuals, especially the young and also reminded of the dangers of applying pesticides to enclosed spaces with people present. .
“Do not apply pesticides in buildings where people are working… pesticides have adverse effects on young people especially in their teens and with new technology we do not have to spray with people in buildings. There are some fantastic gels that can be used,” he said, adding that no pesticide is safe since once it is opened, persons are exposed to hazards.
Meanwhile Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, Chief Medical Office of the Ministry of Public Health, and a member of the PTCCB, congratulated Doctor Leslie Munroe for coordinating and delivering quality training for four consecutive courses.
Dr. Persaud also acknowledged the efforts of the PTCCB as an important driver in ensuring the proper management of pesticides and toxic chemicals. He challenged the graduates to utilize the knowledge gained to educate others and contribute to the ongoing “green effort” across Guyana.
Additionally , Dr. Persaud encouraged the graduates to utilize appropriate protective gear at all times knowing the dangers that improperly handled pesticides pose to life and livelihood.
Trecia Garnath, Registrar of the PTCCB, delivering the chairperson’s remarks, issued a call for the users of pest control services to utilise certified Pest Control Applicators and avoid the risks associated with improper application of pesticides.
The pesticide board conducts two courses; a basic course and an intermediate course. It plans to introduce an advance course in 2017.
Pesticides Awareness is being observed across the Caribbean under the theme, “ Manage Pesticides Responsibly: Adapt to Climate Change”