Pesticide Exposure

At a glance

The Tracking Network has data from poison control centers on pesticide exposures and related health effects. These data to help us identify trends and patterns over time and across geographies.

Green tractor spraying pesticides on agricultural crops.

We Track That

People are exposed to low levels of pesticides every day in a variety of places—at home, school, or work. The health risks from pesticide exposure depend on how several factors.

  • How dangerous the pesticide is for humans
  • The amount a person is exposed to
  • How long the exposure lasts
  • The route of exposure

Pesticide exposure data used on the Tracking Network come from poison control centers across the nation. We get these data through a partnership with the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC).

Get Poison Help‎

Poison control centers offer a free, confidential 24-hour telephone line (1-800-222-1222) and website ( where people can get medical advice on poisonings.

AAPCC works with poison centers throughout the United States to monitor poisonings and their sources. Those sources include the following.

  • Chemicals found in household products, the workplace, at home
  • Chemicals in the environment
  • Poisonings from foods, beverages, drugs, and medicines
  • Poisonings from animal and insect bites

Types of Data

The Tracking Network displays state-level poisoning data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS). Maintained by AAPCC, NPDS is the only near real-time, comprehensive poisoning exposure surveillance database in the United States.

Reported Pesticide Exposures This indicator shows the annual number and rate of pesticide exposures reported to poison control centers. Pesticides are categorized by their functional class. These include disinfectants, fumigants, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, repellents, and rodenticides.

Pesticide-Related Illness This indicator shows the rate and number of illnesses that resulted from the reported pesticide exposure. It also includes the severity of the health effects as described below. The health outcome data groupings are defined by the AAPCC.

No effect: The patient did not have any signs or symptoms as a result of the exposure.

Minor effect: The patient developed some symptoms. But they improved rapidly without any long-term health effects.

Moderate effect: The patient developed symptoms that lasted longer or were more serious than minor effects. Symptoms were not life threatening. Usually, treatment is involved.

Major effect: The patient developed life-threatening symptoms that caused serious health problems or disfigurement as a result of the exposure.

Death: The patient died as a direct result of the exposure or complication of the exposure.

Unable to follow—potentially toxic: The patient was lost to follow-up, refused follow-up, or was not followed. Their exposure was significant; it may have resulted in a moderate or major outcome or death.

Exposure Site

  • Residential (your home or another residence)
  • Workplace
  • Other

Reason for Exposure

  • Unintentional environmental: any exposure from air, water, or soil contamination
  • Unintentional misuse: exposure from improper or incorrect use of a pesticide
  • Unintentional occupational: any job-related exposure
  • Unintentional general: all other unintentional exposures

Access the Data

Use the Data Explorer to create custom maps, tables, and charts.

View data in simple Quick Reports.

Get machine-readable data through the Application Program Interface (API).

Data in Action

Tracking pesticide exposures in a standard way can public health professionals in the following ways.

  • Identifying trends over time and across different geographic areas
  • Exploring patterns of health effects from pesticide exposures
  • Determining trends in exposure sites (work, school, or home)
  • Knowing which pesticides cause more, or fewer, problems

Tracking the short-term (acute) health effects related to pesticide exposures can also inform public health actions. Examples include restricting the use of certain pesticides or placing stronger language on warning labels.