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Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention 

Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention
Chapter:
Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention
Author(s):

Michael R Phillips

and David Gunnell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0078
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date: 22 August 2019

Intentional pesticide ingestion is one of the most common methods of suicide, accounting for up to one-third of all suicides worldwide. The importance of intentional ingestion of pesticides was initially recognized in Asia and the Western Pacific but it is becoming evident that it is also a significant problem in Africa and, to some extent, in Latin America. Pesticides are employed in about 300,000 suicides annually—primarily in the rural areas of low-and middle-income countries (LAMIC)—so limiting access to these lethal agents could, theoretically, substantially reduce the global burden of mortality due to suicide. Organophosphate pesticides are responsible for a large proportion of pesticide self-poisonings and the majority of deaths.

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