New York State Pesticide Poisoning Registry: Guidance for Health Care Professionals

Program Overview

The New York State Pesticide Poisoning Registry (PPR):

  • Conducts surveillance on acute suspected or confirmed pesticide poisoning
  • Identifies behavior(s) that lead to pesticide poisoning
  • Educates target populations to prevent future exposures

Program Goals

  • Increase the medical community's awareness of the potential adverse health effects that can result from exposure
  • Increase the medical community's awareness of the state mandated reporting requirements for pesticide poisoning in New York State
  • Make referrals to appropriate agencies for follow-up treatment, or investigating potential pesticide misapplications

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are a category of chemicals that are used to kill or control insects, weeds, fungi, rodents and microbes. Pesticides come in various forms including liquids, granules, powders, bait, and total release foggers to name a few.

Your patient may be exposed to herbicides, disinfectants, insecticides, rodenticides, and other types of pesticides at home, at work, or at play.

What Information Should be Reported?

Be prepared to provide:

  • Patient's Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Signs/Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Discharge Summary
  • Exposure Information (How exposed)?
  • Product information
  • Laboratory tests where applicable

To report confirmed or suspected poisonings, call 1-800-322-6850. This should be done within 48 hours of treating the patient.

For treatment advice, contact a New York State Regional Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Who is Required to Report Cases to the PPR?

Under the Public Health Law, physicians and health care facilities must report suspected or confirmed pesticide poisonings to the PPR within 48 hours of treating the patient.

Clinical laboratories must report abnormally depressed cholinesterase levels and abnormally elevated tissue levels of pesticides within 48 hours of obtaining results.

Why Should I Report?

Surveillance of pesticide-related illnesses and injuries helps determine the magnitude and underlying causes of over-exposure to pesticides in the workplace, home, and environment. By reporting to the PPR, you will be adhering to the Public Health Law, assisting the NYS Department of Health in obtaining accurate information from exposed individuals and enabling timely public health response to risks associated with pesticide use.

Have Your Patients Been Exposed to Pesticides?

Pesticide poisoning may be difficult to diagnose because the signs often mirror those of other common illnesses, such as colds, flu, or stomach related viruses. The clinical symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning will vary depending on the type of pesticide used, dose, the route of exposure, and the duration of exposure. Conducting an in-depth occupational and environmental history during the exam will help identify potential exposures.

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning may include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive salivation and sweating
  • Skin irritation or rash
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Difficulty breathing

If your patient confirms that they were exposed to a pesticide, you may contact a Poison Control Center for treatment advice and you should report the case to the Registry.

A training module on "Recognizing and Reporting Pesticide Related Illnesses and Injuries" is available at www.health.ny.gov/environmental/workplace/pesticide_poisoning_registry.

How Do I Report a Case?

To report confirmed or suspected poisonings, call 1-800-322-6850. This should be done within 48 hours of treating the patient. A Report Form is also available and may be obtained by calling the number above or downloading it from the Health Provider Network https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/hpn/.

Once the form is completed, it may be faxed or mailed to the Registry.

For further information on the New York State Pesticide Poisoning Registry, contact:

Center for Environmental Health
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1743
Albany, New York 12237

(518) 402-7900 (office)
(518) 402-7909 (fax)

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