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Article: Factors associated with the decline in suicide by pesticide poisoning in Taiwan: A time trend analysis, 1987-2010

TitleFactors associated with the decline in suicide by pesticide poisoning in Taiwan: A time trend analysis, 1987-2010
Authors
KeywordsAgricultural workforce
Pesticide ban
Pesticide sale
Issue Date2012
PublisherInforma Healthcare. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/07313810.asp
Citation
Clinical Toxicology, 2012, v. 50 n. 6, p. 471-480 How to Cite?
AbstractObjective. Pesticide self-poisoning accounts for one-third of suicides worldwide, but few studies have investigated the national epidemiology of pesticide suicide in countries where it is a commonly used method. We investigated trends in pesticide suicide, and factors associated with such trends, in Taiwan, a rapidly developing East Asian country. Methods. We conducted an ecological study using graphical approaches and Spearman's correlation coefficients to examine trends in pesticide suicide (19872010) in Taiwan in relation to pesticide sales, bans on selected pesticides, the proportion of the workforce involved in agriculture and unemployment. We compared pesticide products banned by the Taiwanese government with products that remained on the market and pesticides that accounted for the most poisoning deaths in Taiwan. Results. Age-standardised rates of pesticide suicide showed a 67% reduction from 7.7 per 100,000 (42% of all suicides) in 1987 to 2.5 per 100,000 (12% of all suicides) in 2010, in contrast to a 69% increase in suicide rates by other methods. Pesticide poisoning was the most commonly used method of suicide in 1987 but had become the third most common method by 2010. The reduction was paralleled by a 66% fall in the workforce involved in agriculture but there was no strong evidence for its association with trends in pesticide sales, bans on selected pesticide products or unemployment. The bans mostly post-dated the decline in pesticide suicides; furthermore, they did not include products (e.g. paraquat) that accounted for most deaths and were mainly restricted to selected high-strength formulated products whilst their equivalent low-strength products were not banned. Conclusions. Access to pesticides, indicated by the size of agricultural workforce, appears to influence trends in pesticide suicide in Taiwan. Targeted bans on pesticides should focus on those products that account for most deaths. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148852
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.886
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.292
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Syngenta
Bruker
Cheminova
GRF grant from the Hong Kong Government (RGC project)HKU 784210 M
National Science Council, TaiwanNSC-100-2314-B-006-053
NSC-98-2917-I-564-162
CSO/SCF
Funding Information:

ME has received expenses to attend a scientific meeting of a study funded by Syngenta and a meeting supported by Bruker, and a grant from Cheminova for minipig studies in Edinburgh. DG has received financial support to attend scientific meetings of studies aimed at preventing pesticide suicides funded by Syngenta. Neither Syngenta, Bruker nor Cheminova funded this study nor did they have any part in the analysis/write up or any other aspects of the research. All other authors declare they have no competing financial interests. This study is in part supported by a GRF grant from the Hong Kong Government (RGC project code HKU 784210 M) and a grant from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC-100-2314-B-006-053). S-SC's fellowship at the University of Bristol is funded by the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC-98-2917-I-564-162). DG is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. ME is a Scottish Senior Clinical Research Fellow (funded by the CSO/SCF) and a Lister Prize Fellow.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChang, SSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLu, THen_HK
dc.contributor.authorEddleston, Men_HK
dc.contributor.authorKonradsen, Fen_HK
dc.contributor.authorSterne, JACen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLin, JJen_HK
dc.contributor.authorGunnell, Den_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-06-15T03:06:46Z-
dc.date.available2012-06-15T03:06:46Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_HK
dc.identifier.citationClinical Toxicology, 2012, v. 50 n. 6, p. 471-480en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1556-3650en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/148852-
dc.description.abstractObjective. Pesticide self-poisoning accounts for one-third of suicides worldwide, but few studies have investigated the national epidemiology of pesticide suicide in countries where it is a commonly used method. We investigated trends in pesticide suicide, and factors associated with such trends, in Taiwan, a rapidly developing East Asian country. Methods. We conducted an ecological study using graphical approaches and Spearman's correlation coefficients to examine trends in pesticide suicide (19872010) in Taiwan in relation to pesticide sales, bans on selected pesticides, the proportion of the workforce involved in agriculture and unemployment. We compared pesticide products banned by the Taiwanese government with products that remained on the market and pesticides that accounted for the most poisoning deaths in Taiwan. Results. Age-standardised rates of pesticide suicide showed a 67% reduction from 7.7 per 100,000 (42% of all suicides) in 1987 to 2.5 per 100,000 (12% of all suicides) in 2010, in contrast to a 69% increase in suicide rates by other methods. Pesticide poisoning was the most commonly used method of suicide in 1987 but had become the third most common method by 2010. The reduction was paralleled by a 66% fall in the workforce involved in agriculture but there was no strong evidence for its association with trends in pesticide sales, bans on selected pesticide products or unemployment. The bans mostly post-dated the decline in pesticide suicides; furthermore, they did not include products (e.g. paraquat) that accounted for most deaths and were mainly restricted to selected high-strength formulated products whilst their equivalent low-strength products were not banned. Conclusions. Access to pesticides, indicated by the size of agricultural workforce, appears to influence trends in pesticide suicide in Taiwan. Targeted bans on pesticides should focus on those products that account for most deaths. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.en_HK
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherInforma Healthcare. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/07313810.aspen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofClinical Toxicologyen_HK
dc.rightsClinical Toxicology. Copyright © Informa Healthcare.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subjectAgricultural workforceen_HK
dc.subjectPesticide banen_HK
dc.subjectPesticide saleen_HK
dc.titleFactors associated with the decline in suicide by pesticide poisoning in Taiwan: A time trend analysis, 1987-2010en_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailChang, SS: sschang@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityChang, SS=rp01582en_HK
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.doi10.3109/15563650.2012.688835en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid22624660-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84863468109en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros211100-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-84863468109&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume50en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6en_HK
dc.identifier.spage471en_HK
dc.identifier.epage480en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000305838700003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChang, SS=35232386600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLu, TH=35233954000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridEddleston, M=7005921249en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKonradsen, F=7003563579en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridSterne, JAC=7006014653en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLin, JJ=55155528100en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGunnell, D=55172281100en_HK

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