CDC: Acute Pesticide Illness Reported

ATLANTA, May 13 (UPI) — From 2002 to 2007, four states reported 401 acute illnesses from anti-microbial pesticide exposures — mainly to the eyes, health officials said.

The Centers of Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, said most of the pesticide illnesses in California, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas, were most commonly reported by janitors, housekeepers, nurses, medical assistants and technicians.

Splashes and/or spills to the eyes were the major mechanism of injury, but eye protection was rarely used, the researchers said. However, the reported symptoms were mostly mild and temporary.

Use of anti-microbial pesticides is an important vehicle for healthcare infection control, but occupational exposures to these pesticides can cause adverse health effects, the report said.

“Workers should be informed about the health hazards of anti-microbials used in their facilities; provided training on the safe handling of anti-microbial pesticides in accordance with label instructions and, furnished with appropriate personal protective equipment such as safety goggles conveniently located,” the report said.

“In addition, effective communication is encouraged to prevent bystander exposure, such as posting signs where anti-microbial pesticides are used.”

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