Worker Health and Safety Branch Programs
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 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:
- development of farm worker safety outreach and education,
- evaluation and recommendation of engineering controls, administrative controls and as a last resort personal protective equipment for worker protection (in coordination with the U.S. EPA's Worker Protection Standard),
- evaluation of pesticides (registration submissions, data review and product label changes),
- permit conditions issued by local County Agricultural Commissioners,
- review of technical and scientific data to assess worker health impact of pesticide use, regulatory and policy recommendations
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 the Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (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:
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 324-4116