Laboratory reporting for tracking of occupational pesticide illness.
Das-R; Geiser-C; Ellerbe-L; Zuzunaga-M; Rosenzweig-H; Pardo-S
NIOSH 2004 Mar; 1-163
Using clinical laboratories as reporting sources resulted in large numbers of abnormal cholinesterase test results among workers representing a variety of industries and occupations. In our study, approximately 10% of cholinesterase results were depressed compared to laboratory normal range or baseline; most cholinesterase depression appeared to be asymptomatic; approximately 1 % of depression was below the threshold for medical removal. Less than 10% of workers identified by laboratory reporting were successfully interviewed. Less than 1 % of incidents were classified as occupational pesticide illness cases. Most workers in the Medical Supervision program were not evaluated by a physician or notified about the reason for cholinesterase tests or the results. Laboratory reporting was especially useful as a tool to assess the Medical Supervision program. This reporting method also should be considered as a method to conduct pesticide illness surveillance if limitations can be addressed. CDHS, CDPR, and OEHHA should establish a workgroup to explore the following regulatory changes suggested by this study: ( 1) requiring mandatory laboratory reporting as a supplemental system to track occupational pesticide illness; (2) requiring mandatory laboratory reporting as a method for ongoing evaluation of the Medical Supervision program; and (3) revising the Medical Supervision regulations to improve medical monitoring for pesticide-exposed workers, including requirements for physician certification, and worker notification and evaluation.
Pesticides; Occupational-hazards; Workers; Worker-health; Clinical-tests; Laboratory-testing; Cholinesterase-inhibitors; Demographic-characteristics; Surveillance-programs; Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-workers
Occupational Health Branch, State of California, Department of Health Services, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1901, Oakland, CA 94612
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Public Health Institute, Oakland, California