Occupational illnesses from cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides among agricultural applicators in California, 1982-1985

Arch Environ Health. Jan-Feb 1989;44(1):34-9. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1989.9935870.


California pesticide illness investigation reports involving toxicity category I or II organophosphate and carbamate pesticide exposures among agricultural pesticide applicators were reviewed for the years 1982-1985. The pesticides associated with each illness were recorded, and the exposures were classified as chronic, short-term, or accidental. Illnesses were associated with a range of pesticides, including both organophosphates and carbamates in both toxicity categories I and II. Approximately 19% of the illnesses were due to accidents. Overall, the analysis identified a need for improving occupational health surveillance and the regulations governing worker health and safety.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology
  • California
  • Carbamates*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / adverse effects*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds*
  • Safety


  • Carbamates
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Insecticides
  • Organophosphorus Compounds