Establishment of the North Carolina Pesticide Incident Surveillance Program and the Integration of its Findings into Pesticide Safety Education Programs

Sheila Higgins, Ricky Langley, Wayne Buhler


Pesticides are widely used in residential, agricultural, municipal, and commercial establishments to control a variety of pests. However, improper use of pesticides may result in adverse health effects. Reporting acute pesticide-related illnesses to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is voluntary, and the extent of unintentional pesticide exposures and resulting harmful effects is not known in most states. To address this issue, the North Carolina Division of Public Health established a pesticide incident surveillance program that requires all healthcare providers in the state to report pesticide-related injury and illnesses within 48 hours of diagnosis. We describe the steps involved in establishing this statewide program, an analysis of the cases reported over the first six years, and how the data collected are used in various pesticide safety education outreach efforts within North Carolina.

Keywords: pesticides, pesticide-related illnesses, pesticide exposure, pesticide incident surveillance program,pesticide safety education

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Journal of Pesticide Safety Education by American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


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