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California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program

  1. Louise Mehler

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr186

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

Mehler, L. 2003. California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. California EPA, Sacramento, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


The State of California requires physicians to report all health conditions that they know or have reason to believe resulted from pesticide exposure. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (part of the California Environmental Protection Agency) investigates these reports and any other pesticide cases identified. This effort, the Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (PISP), attempts to track any type of health effect attributable to any product registered or used as a pesticide, including antimicrobial sanitizers and disinfectants.

PISP scientists evaluate the incidents investigated and code case specifics in a computerized database. Data have been collected on more than 40,000 individual cases. Over 90% of the cases provide enough information to permit a judgment as to the likelihood that pesticide exposure caused or contributed to development of a health problem. Roughly two-thirds of these are evaluated as at least possibly related to pesticide exposure. The PISP publishes annual data summaries and responds to inquiries from individuals, government agencies, advocacy groups, and industry.


  • pesticides;
  • toxicity;
  • poisoning;
  • adverse effects;
  • human health;
  • public health surveillance