Pesticide Information for Medical Professionals
As a medical professional, you may have patients with a known history of pesticide exposure, or patients who report symptoms but are unsure about their pesticide exposure. In either scenario, collecting a thorough and complete exposure history is essential, including:
- What pesticide was the patient exposed to?
- When did the exposure occur?
- What was the route of exposure (oral, dermal, inhalation)?
- How long/often was the patient exposed to the pesticide?
- When did the patient's symptoms begin following the exposure?
- How long have the symptoms persisted? Have they improved or worsened over time?
- Are there additional exposures or circumstances that may be relevant?
In some cases laboratory testing for exposure to pesticides may be considered. While laboratory testing is possible for many pesticides, analytical methods are not available for all pesticide active ingredients. Additionally, health-based guidelines may not be established for pesticides detected in biological samples. Detecting pesticides in the body does not necessarily mean that a health effect will occur, or that the current health complaints are related. For certain cases you may choose to consult with a clinical toxicologist or occupational/environmental health specialist for assistance. There is a medical toxicologist on staff at the NPIC; he is available to physicians seeking consultation on non-emergency cases of pesticide exposure.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC)
- The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
- Find a Medical Toxicologist - American College of Medical Toxicology
- Medical Provider Reporting Requirements/Contacts - Migrant Clinicians Network
- ACToR: Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Toxicity and Exposure Assessment for Children's Health (TEACH) Chemical Summaries - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Pesticide Illness and Injury Surveillance - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Health Studies - Pesticides - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Toxicological Profiles - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- Pesticide Health Effects Medical Education Database (PHEMED) - pesticidemededucation.com
- Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Specific Chemicals - Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- INCHEM Pesticide Documents - International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)