Testing for Pesticides and Pesticide Exposure
When pesticides enter our environment, many things affect how long they will last and where they will go. Laboratory testing can be very expensive and the results are often difficult to understand. Although modern testing methods can be used to detect small amounts of pesticides in air, soil, water and/or biological samples, often the implications of the results to human health or the environment is not easy to determine. Just because a pesticide is present in the environment or in the body does not mean there is a meaningful health risk.
If you want to pursue testing, gather as much information as you can about the potential exposure. The more specific your test, the more likely you are to find a helpful answer.
- Try to gather information such as: Which pesticide is involved? Do you have the name of the product, its EPA registration number, or and/or the name of the active ingredient(s)?
- Where and how was the pesticide applied?
- When was the pesticide applied?
- How might you have been exposed - did it get on your skin, or did you swallow it, or did you inhale it?
- When you have the results, what will you use to evaluate them? Is there a published reference value for comparison? For example, there are maximum contaminant levels for certain drinking water contaminants.
If you have test results you are struggling to understand, we may be able to help you. Call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated September 19, 2019