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Highlight on pesticide drift.

Washington State Department of Health
Pesticide incident reporting and tracking review panel 2006 annual report - summary of 2005 data. Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Health, 2007 Sep; :81-89
Exposure to pesticide drift is an important cause of documented pesticide-related illness in Washington. The DOH data were compiled for drift incidents (applications that drifted) and cases (people reporting symptoms) for the years 2004 and 2005. A drift incident may involve multiple cases. The DOH Pesticide Program reviewed drift data from 2002 through 2003 in the 2004 PIRT Report. Since pesticide illness reports are referred to DOH by other PIRT agencies, all cases of drift-related illness should be included in the DOH dataset. The analyses in this report include only cases that DOH classified as definitely, probably, or possibly (DPP) related to pesticide exposure. During the years 2004 and 2005, pesticide drift was involved in 36 incidents involving 62 cases of illness or injury. This is a decline from the previous twoyear data set which involved 58 incidents and 95 people with symptoms. Figure 14 shows drift as a proportion of all DOH DPP cases and incidents for 2004 and 2005 combined. Drift was a relatively small factor in reported cases of urban and suburban use of pesticides. Only ten incidents involving 15 people were classified as definite, probable, or possible during this two year period. Agricultural drift continued, however, to be a significant source of pesticide illness and injury in reported agricultural cases. Agricultural applications to farms and nurseries were involved in 26 (72%) of the 36 total incidents and 47 (76%) of the 62 cases. However, farmers and farm workers were not the sole recipients of pesticide drift. Figure 15 shows DOH drift cases by site of exposure. More than half the people with symptoms (58%) were residents in nearby homes, people driving their vehicles on public roads, or people in other nearby buildings. As housing developments continue to expand into agricultural areas, reports of agricultural drift onto residential property may increase. Possible mitigations include changes in county zoning for housing developments, use of vegetative buffers at the edge of agricultural lands, and use of best management practices to prevent pesticide drift.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Men; Women; Lung; Lung-disease; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiration; Chemical-properties; Training; Education; Hazards; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Chemical-composition; Lung-disorders; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment
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Pesticide incident reporting and tracking review panel 2006 annual report - summary of 2005 data
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Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division