Summary of illnesses and injuries reported in California by physicians in 1986 as potentially related to pesticides
Edmiston, S.; Maddy, K.T.
Veterinary and Human Toxicology 29(5): 391-397
ISSN/ISBN: 0145-6296 PMID: 2961120 Accession: 017209975
As a result of legislation in the early 1970's, physicians are required to report all cases of illness or injury which may have been a result of exposure to pesticides. The California Department of Food and Agriculture receives these reports through a variety of reporting mechanisms and compiles them into an annual data base. In 1986, 2099 illness/injury reports were received by the Worker Health and Safety Branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. After investigation by the County Agricultural Commissioners' staff, 1065 (51%) were determined to be confirmed cases of occupational illness/injury related to pesticide exposure. In addition, there were also 146 (7%) cases of non-occupational pesticide-related illness/injury, 424 (20%) cases determined to be unrelated to pesticide exposure, and 464 (22%) cases for which there was insufficient information to determine a cause and effect relationship. The number of confirmed cases of pesticide-related illness/injury decreased by nearly 30% from the corresponding 1985 figures. This apparent decrease is an artifact of the classification scheme employed for 1986. The change is primarily a result of a reduction in the number of field worker cases determined to be confirmed pesticide-related exposures. In previous years most investigations of pesticide application history for grape vineyard worker dermatitis cases were confined to a history from the last field worked prior to visiting a physician. This method assumes no latency period between exposure and onset of symptoms and/or that the worker immediately visited a physician at the onset of symptoms.