This document contains a standardized set of variables for pesticide-related illness and injury. These standardized variables were developed through a collaboration that included experts from federal agencies (NIOSH, US EPS, NCEH), non-federal agencies (CSTE, AOEC) and state health departments or other state designees. The variables marked with an asterisk (*) are core variables for this condition, required from all NIOSH-funded surveillance programs. However, states are encouraged to provide data for all of the variables. The variable formats are designed to conform to CDC recommendations and to maintain consistency with available national data useful for rate calculation and comparisons (e.g., data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Bureau of the Census). Note that the recommended variable type (e.g. numeric, character) is included in this document. Comments follow each variable, which explain the intended use of the variable. The comments also describe the discussion with state and federal agency partners during the development of the variables and coding schemes. Some states choose not to collect information on cases associated with exposures to disinfectants. However, the variables are designed to allow this information to be captured, although these cases may not be routinely reported to the national surveillance system.
Geoffrey M. Calvert, MD, Mail Stop R-21, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226