Pesticides

Workers' Pesticide Illness and Injury Rates Underestimated, Report Finds

The estimates are low because many workers affected by pesticides do not seek medical care.

A report published in AIHA's The Synergist found that illnesses and injuries from occupational exposures to conventional pesticides covering years 2007-2010 are likely to underestimate the counts. The estimates likely are low because workers do not seek medical care or contact the appropriate authorities when working with pesticide, according to NIOSH.

Another variable affecting the accuracy of the reports is the transient nature of agricultural employees thanks to seasonal and migrant farmworkers. The rates of pesticide-related illness and injury among agricultural industry workers were 37 times greater than those for non-agricultural workers, but NIOSH said these statistics are minimum estimates.

The majority of the cases in the report involved exposure to insecticides and/or herbicides.

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