Questions about skin conditions were part of a NIOSH-sponsored supplement on occupational health and were administered in three periods, 1999-2000, 2001-2002, and 2003. From 1999-2000 to 2001-2002, the share of agricultural workers that reported becoming sick or having a reaction due to loading, mixing, or applying pesticides increased from five percent to nine percent. The most frequently-cited symptoms related to pesticide exposure were headache (reported by 72% of workers who indicated a pesticide-associated symptom in 1999-2000 but only 11% in 2001-2002) and nausea or vomiting (reported by 33% in 1999-2000 and 35% in 2001-2002).
Few agricultural workers reported receiving medical attention due to pesticide exposure in the previous 12 months; less than one percent in 1999-2000 and two percent in 2003. Among workers in 2003 who sought medical attention for symptoms related to pesticide exposure in the previous 12 months, approximately one-third reported that it was for headache, one-quarter said it was for skin problems, one-fifth said it was for eye problems, and one-tenth said it was for nausea or vomiting (a decrease of 34 percentage points from 1999-2000 when 44% reported seeking medical attention for nausea or vomiting related to pesticide exposure). Harvesting was the task most commonly associated with pesticide exposure that resulted in the agricultural worker receiving medical attention.
Did you become sick or have any reaction because of this work (loading, mixing, or applying pesticides)?
To view current and trend data from the NAWS select from the links below:
Attention A T users. Data is presented in three formats, a bar chart, a textual data table, and a line chart. The data is best reviewed though the data table when using A T.
Bar Chart — Did you become sick or have any reaction because of this work (loading, mixing, or applying pesticides)?
Data Table — Did you become sick or have any reaction because of this work (loading, mixing, or applying pesticides)?1
|Did you become sick or have any reaction because of this work (loading, mixing, or applying pesticides)?1||55||5%||15||9%a |
|Skin problems||14||22%||b||b |
|Eye problems||12||17%a||b||b |
1 Question was asked in 1999 through 2001; the 01-02 column contains data for 2001 only.
2 Question was asked in 1999 through 2003; the 03-04 column contains data for 2003 only.
a Estimates with relative standard errors (RSEs) greater than 30 percent but no more than 50 percent are published but should be used with caution.
b Estimates based on fewer than four responses or with RSEs greater than 50 percent are considered statistically unreliable and are suppressed.