The rate of new illnesses associated with pesticide exposure at schools increased significantly in children from 1998 to 2002, according to an article in the July 27 issue of JAMA.
"Exposure to pesticides in the school environment is a health risk facing children and school employees," background information in the article states. Pesticides continue to be used both on and around school property, with some schools at risk of pesticide exposure from neighboring farms. Currently, no specific federal requirements on limiting pesticide exposures at schools exist. In the U.S. today, pesticide poisoning is often underdiagnosed.
Walter A. Alarcon, M.D., from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, and colleagues examined 1998 – 2002 data from 2,593 people with acute pesticide-related illnesses associated with school exposure. Information was collected from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks pesticides program (SENSOR) pesticides program, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), and the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS). Cases were included if illness developed after exposure to pesticide and illness was consistent with known toxicology of the pesticide.
Fred Blosser | EurekAlert!
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