Worker Health and Safety Branch Programs

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Exposure Monitoring and Industrial Hygiene Program (EMIHP)

Scientists design and conduct studies to characterize human exposure to pesticides and pesticide residue, ensure workplace safety, and evaluate the impact of proposed or mandated exposure mitigation methods. These studies target specific work tasks, application methods, application scenarios, etc. by collecting dislodgeable foliar and surface residue, air, clothing, and dermal samples. All pesticide exposure studies conducted in California that involve human subjects must be reviewed and approved by DPR under the Human Subject Protocol, PDF (96 kb) Review process prior to initiation.

EMHIP provides assistance to county agricultural commissioners through on-site monitoring (e.g., air and dislodgeable foliar residue samples), work site and equipment evaluations and worker interviews. Industrial hygienists provide consultation on engineering controls, heat stress, personal protective equipment, and airborne monitoring methods.

Human Health Assessment Program (HHAP)

Exposure assessment, PDF (51 kb) is the process scientists use to identify and estimate potential pesticide exposure to human populations. These populations include individuals who come in contact with pesticides through direct handling of products, those entering treated areas, and bystanders or individuals who may indirectly come in contact through ambient air, groundwater, or other sources. The exposure analysis includes review of product labels and evaluation of handling and crop cultivation practices, and encompasses occupational, residential, industrial, and institutional scenarios. When assessments indicate potentially unacceptable risks, the HHAP serves as a resource to risk managers and the Human Health Mitigation Program on human exposure issues.

Human Health Mitigation Program (HHMP)

Mitigation of human health risks involves protecting workers and the public by developing measures to reduce unacceptable exposures and hazards associated with pesticide use. This program takes a multi-disciplinary approach to develop risk mitigation strategies by collecting and evaluating data from various sources including local, state and federal entities. These strategies involve comprehensive evaluations of pesticide use practices and label requirements, assessments of risk, and, if necessary, development and implementation of risk mitigation measures.

Approaches to reducing risk include:

Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (PISP)

DPR has the country’s longest established and most extensive surveillance and reporting program for human health effects of pesticide exposure. The detailed and comprehensive illness database contains information from physician’s reports and on-site field investigations of each incident. These investigations, conducted by the county agricultural commissioner of the county where the exposure occurred, provide detailed and valuable information on the circumstances of exposure. Data generated by PISP has provided information to support regulatory changes at the state and national level. Furthermore, our illness data continues to provide crucial information to further refine existing pesticide regulatory programs, expose trends in pesticide illnesses, identify emerging problems and evaluate the success and implementation of mitigation measures.

PISP provides a web-based query tool, CalPIQ (California Pesticide Illness Query), which makes DPR’s pesticide illness data freely available to the public. Through CalPIQ, users can obtain listings of pesticide illnesses or generate user defined custom reports.



For content questions, contact:
Lisa Ross
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 324-4116
E-mail: Lisa.Ross@cdpr.ca.gov