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Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention 

Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention
Restrictions of access to pesticides in suicide prevention

Michael R Phillips

and David Gunnell

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date: 17 May 2022

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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