During the spring and summer months 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.
Exposure to these pesticides may result in diverse signs or symptoms such as skin irritation, shortness of breath, cough, nausea, vomiting, or eye injuries. To help 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 here Disease Reporting Form. and submitted on paper, electronically, or by phone. The instructions are on the website. Anyone in a medical office may submit the form.