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Limited data document the multiple and repeated pesticide absorption experienced by farmworkers in an agricultural season or their risk factors.

Laboratory studies and case reports of accidental exposure to large amounts of chemicals indicate that there are immediate and long‐term negative health consequences of exposure to agricultural chemicals. 

The goal of this study was to describe acute occupational pesticide-related illnesses among youths and to provide prevention recommendations. Survey data from 8 states and from poison control center data were analyzed.

Concern about the adverse public health and environmental effects of pesticide use is persistent. Recognizing the importance of surveillance for acute occupational pesticide-related illness, we report on surveillance for this condition across multiple states. Between 1998 and 1999, a total of 1,009 individuals with acute occupational pesticide-related illness were identified by states participating in the SENSOR-pesticides program. 

In response to limitations in state-based occupational disease surveillance, the California Department of Health Services developed a model for surveillance of acute, work-related pesticide illness. The objectives were to enhance case reporting and link case reports to preventive interventions. Risk factors for pesticide illness were prevalent. 

The California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (PISP) is a major resource for pesticide illness epidemiology. This work attempts to improve characterization of pesticide illness in California, evaluate case ascertainment of the PISP and identify PISP’s limitations and biases for studying the incidence and epidemiology of pesticide-related illness. 

Public health surveillance for acute pesticide intoxications is discussed. Explanation of the goals, components and functions of population-based surveillance is provided with reference to key informational sources.

Pesticide Action Network, United Farmworkers of America, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation analyzed California government data on agricultural poisonings and enforcement of worker safety standards. Nearly 500 pesticide poisonings were reported for California farmworkers every year. The actual number of pesticide-related illnesses is unknown, since many poisonings go unreported. 

Surveillance data show that pesticide-related illness is an important cause of acute morbidity among migrant farm workers in California. Exposures occur in various ways (e.g., residues, drift), suggesting that the use of pesticides creates a hazardous work environment for all farm workers  Improved education for health care providers should be a priority. Growers should be educated about alternative forms of pest control and incentives should be provided to encourage their use.

Describes the growth from 1987 through 1996 of the Occupational Pesticide Poisoning Surveillance Program at the Texas Department of Health. The program was initially based on a Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR) model, using sentinel providers to report cases, supplementing the passive reporting by physicians that was required by law. 

The authors describe the growth of the Occupational Pesticide Poisoning Surveillance Program at the Texas Department of Health. The program was based on a Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks(SENSOR) model, using sentinel providers to report cases. The number of confirmed occupational cases increased from 9 workers in 1987 to 99 workers in 1996.

Summary of Results from the California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program - 2010.  

 The Department of Pesticide Regulation administers the California pesticide safety program, widely regarded as the most stringent in the nation.  Mandatory reporting of pesticide illnesses has been part of this comprehensive program since 1971.  Illness reports are collected, evaluated and analyzed by program staff.  PISP is the oldest and largest program of its kind in the nation; its scientists provide data to regulators, advocates, industry, and indivudal citizens.

The CHAMACOS study is a longitudinal birth cohort study examining chemicals and other factors in the environment and children's health. 

In 1999-2000, CHAMACOS enrolled 601 pregnant women living in the agircultural Salinas Valley.  They are following their children through age 12 to measure their exposures to pesticides and other chemicals and to determine if this exposure impacts their growth, health, and development. 

Despite ongoing concern about pesticide exposure of farmworkers and their families, relatively few studies have tried to directly test the association of behavioral and environmental factors with pesticide exposure in this population.  This study seeks to identify factors potentially associated with pesticide exposure among farmworkers; grade the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature for such associations; and propose a minimum set of measures necessary to understand farmworker risk for pesticide exposure.   From: Environmental Health Perspectives

Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity. Acute poisoning risks are clear, and understanding of chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure are emerging. Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.
In this policy statement, the American Association of Pediatrics outlines the symptoms and suggested course of treatment for acute exposure pesticides belonging to the eight most predominant classes of pesticides. The policy statement also makes recommendations for both pediatricians and government to take measures to improve pesticide safety.
© AAP - 2012; This document is copyrighted and is property of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Board of Directors.

Barbara C. Lee PhD, Susan S. Gallagher MPH, Amy K. Liebman MPA, MA, Mary E. Miller RN, MN & Barbara Marlenga PhD (2012)Journal of Agromedicine, 17:2, 88-93ABSTRACT. In 1996 the US launched a National Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative, guided by an action plan generated by a 42-member multidisciplinary committee. A major update to the plan was released following the 2001 Summit on Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention. From the year 2010 through 2011 a comprehensive assessment of progress to date was conducted followed by the drafting, review and finalizing of a new action plan—“The 2012 Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture.” This paper briefly describes the purpose and process for generating the new action plan then provides a listing of the 7 goals and 26 strategies within the plan. These goals and strategies account for trends in childhood agricultural injuries, changes in agricultural production and the demographics of its workforce, effectiveness of interventions, and the increasing use of social media, marketing and social networking. Primary funding for this  project was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which continues to serve as the lead federal agency for the national initiative.

This EPA report contains the latest estimates of agricultural and nonagricultural pesticide use in the United States.

Research projects and studies conducted by the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Health and Safety Center at the University of Washington.

This 2008 MCN/FJ Monograph compiles research on pesticides, pregnancy and reproductive health. English and Spanish.

Useful Databases and links to find pesticide usage by crop, acreage or volume (weight).

About 45 farmworkers harvesting fruit in the orchards of the San Joaquin Delta in California were exposed to Di-Syston, an acutely toxic organophosphate pesticide, sprayed by a crop duster treating a nearby asparagus field, according a Sacramento Bee article published on September 22, 2006.

Assessment of Maternal Occupational Pesticide Exposures during Pregnancy and Three Children with Birth Defects: North Carolina, 2004. Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch Division of Public Health, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, North CarolinaMay 18, 2006
Abstract of an article published July, 2006 in Pediatrics.
Article published in Environmental Health Perspectives, May 2006.
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This NIEHS/EPA/NIOSH study is investigating the effects of environmental, occupational, dietary, and genetic factors on the health of the agricultural population. Over 89,000 individuals are participating in the project. This includes private and commercial pesticide applicators as well as the spouses of these applicators.

Environmental Health Perspectives (May 2006)offers a mini monograph of farmworker pesticide exposure. Link to six papers now availalbe on-line.