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OHSSP Pesticide Exposure Surveillance 

Man Spraying Field


Pesticides include disinfectants, sanitizers, sterilizers, plant regulators, defoliants, desiccants, insecticides, rodenticides, and fungicides.

The Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Program (OHSSP) conducts limited human pesticide exposure surveillance. OHSSP is part of the the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response, and Environmental Health Division. 

According to Iowa law, physicians, laboratories, and healthcare providers are required to report human pesticide exposures. OHSSP may also gather surveillance data from the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center, state agencies, and partners in the community. 

From 2009 - 2015, the OHSSP received additional federal funding to gather in-depth pesticide exposure information as part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (NIOSH SENSOR).  

Pesticide Surveillance Activities:

IDPH OHSSP works with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Pesticide Bureau to respond to reports of worker pesticide exposure in Iowa. We can be reached during normal business hours at 800-972-2026.

For more information regarding the health risks of a pesticide exposure, contact the IDPH Toxicologist.  

For medical or treatment advice, please contact the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 or call 911 for emergencies. 

What is a pesticide?

Pesticides are chemicals developed to kill pests which include insects, weeds, fungi or rodents. Pesticides are widely used on agricultural crops, in the home, for mosquito control, in yards, and in public places. The types of pesticides commonly used are also called insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides. Some of the benefits of pesticides are increased crop production, preserving produce, combating insect infestations and controlling exotic species.

What is pesticide poisoning?

Pesticide poisoning is an illness or injury resulting from exposure to a single or mixture of pesticides. An acute onset of illness usually occurs within 24-48 hours after the exposure. Illnesses may appear in the form of systemic signs and symptoms (e.g. respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological); dermatologic signs (e.g. rash, hives, blisters); or ocular signs (e.g. redness, burns, blurred vision).

Additional Information

The following links and documents provide additional information. Report a pesticide exposure in Iowa by calling 800-972-2026 during regular business hours or call the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 anytime to report an exposure and for information about treatment.