Pesticide use by persons who reported a high pesticide exposure event in the agricultural health study

Environ Res. 2001 Mar;85(3):256-9. doi: 10.1006/enrs.2000.4224.


Almost 16% of the pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) cohort (a cohort that includes 52,629 private applicators) reported having a high pesticide exposure event (i.e., an incident or experience while using a pesticide that caused an unusually high personal exposure). Pesticides involved in these events were compared to the frequency with which specific pesticides were ever used by the AHS cohort. Generally, pesticides with greater acute toxicity were more frequently involved with the high pesticide exposure event than were other pesticides. Whereas it is clear that the use of acutely toxic pesticides may be related to more frequent visits to health care facilities, the reason that the spills and immersions of the high pesticide exposure events are associated with the acute toxicity of the pesticide is not intuitively clear. This analysis suggests that current practices directed at minimizing pesticide exposures may not be sufficient for acutely toxic or irritating chemicals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Agriculture
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pesticides / poisoning*


  • Pesticides