Indicator #11: Acute Work-Related Pesticide Poisonings Reported to Poison Control Centers

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A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances used to prevent or control undesired insects, plants, animals, or fungi. In the U.S., approximately one billion pounds of pesticides are used annually, contained in more than 16,000 pesticide products. Although the value of pesticides in protecting the food supply and controlling disease vectors is well recognized, it is also recognized that pesticides can cause harm to people and the environment. Adverse health effects from exposure vary depending on the amount and route of exposure and the type of chemical used. Agricultural workers and pesticide applicators are at greatest risk for the more severe pesticide poisonings.

Work-Related Pesticide associated poisonings
Indicator # 11: Acute Work Related Pesticide Associated Illness and Injury Reported to Poison Control Centers, Maryland
Year Number Rate*
*Cases per 100,000 workers
2000 39 1.45
2001 40 1.47
2002 32 1.15
2003 40 1.44
2004 56 2.03
2005 34 1.21
2006 48 1.66
2007 37 1.29
2008 33 1.15
2009 42 1.49
2010 57 2.0
2011 67 2.3
2012 43 1.5

More about this indicator

Why is this indicator important?

Workers who handle pesticides are at increased risk for exposure. Poison Control Centers (PCCs) are important sources of reports of acute poisonings and chemical exposures. These data can be useful to target prevention. The type of data collected is comparable across states due to the uniformity in case handling by PCCs.

Data Source for this Indicator

American Association of Poison Control Centers (Numbers of pesticide-associated illness and injury); Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey (total number of employed persons).

U.S. data and information about this indicator obtained from

Limitation of Indicator:

Poison Control Centers capture only a small proportion of acute occupational pesticide-related illness cases, an estimated 10%. PCCs do not systematically collect information on industry and occupation.