Pesticides & Health

Applicator sprays equipment

Handler cleans spray application equipment. Photo by PNASH

In the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates around 10,000 and 20,000 annual agricultural-related poisoning and injury incidents occur through skin exposure and absorption. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH) work addresses those who are most vulnerable to pesticide exposure:

  • Pesticide handlers (mixers, loaders, and applicators) 
  • Children who an enhanced susceptibility to the uptake and toxicity of pesticides.

Overall, acute poisonings in the U.S. have declined due to improved products, application practices, and case reporting; yet common poisonings still occur. Some of these common exposures happen through the off-target movement of pesticides or splashes to the eye. A growing body of evidence reveals that long-term exposure can lead to more serious health effects including neurological diseases and cancers. 

PNASH Pesticide Research

Pesticide Resources & Tools from PNASH & PESHUPractical Solutions for Pesticide Safety - Manual covers

Key Resources

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