During the spring and summer months physicians and health care providers see more illnesses and injuries caused by pesticides. A pesticide is anything used to prevent, destroy, repel, or reduce pests and the damage they cause. Pests include insects, weeds, fungi, rodents, mold, and bacteria. Pesticides include bug sprays, weed killers, rat pellets, and disinfectants such as pool chemicals and cleaning products.
To help physicians and health care providers understand if an exposure has contributed to presenting signs and symptoms, they are encouraged to ask if the patient has noticed a relationship between their symptoms and any work or home exposures.
All known or suspected occupational pesticide-related related illnesses or injuries are reportable under the Michigan Public Health code (Article 5, Part 56). Report forms can be downloaded by visiting http://www.oem.msu.edu/reportform.aspx and submitted on paper, electronically, or via phone. The instructions are on the website. Anyone in a medical office may submit the form.