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.