Local crop production strongly relies on synthetic inputs specifically Nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides which increase production costs and raise concerns on the impact of farming on the environment and human health.


Children are most vulnerable to the impacts of pesticides because they have limited control over their environment and surroundings and their brains and bodies are still developing. Women are also particularly vulnerable due to low body weight and particular genetic predispositions. Even very low-level exposure to pesticides can greatly affect growth and health. Per unit of body weight, children are exposed to more pesticides than adults through the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the food they eat.

Children face exposure at multiple stages of their development, starting in the womb via entrance through the umbilical cord or placenta and through the food that mothers consume during pregnancy. In infancy, they are exposed through baby foods (even processed) and breast milk.

Children from rural areas are particularly at risk, often playing, or even working, in fields and other areas covered in pesticides. Even at school, spray from surrounding fields is carried through the air and water to school areas. Pesticides are also often used on school property and in public places like parks or markets.

ICERD have been working to reduce the use of pesticides by supporting training of farmers in Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

In addition to IPM training, Pesticide impact assessment (PIA) have been facilitated by ICERD implementation Institutions in six procinces (Hanoi, Bac Giang, Lao Cai, Ninh Binh, Quang Binh and Yen Bai). During these process, farmers and school children have collected and analysed data about the use of pesticides in their communities and recorded signs and symptoms of poisoning. The results are helping rural families to make healthier decisions, while also providing policy makers with a ‘reality check’ which may encourage them to strengthen pesticide regulations.