Acute Pesticide Illnesses Data

Acute pesticide-related illnesses are from short-term exposure events. These illnesses could be caused by a single, repeated, or continuous exposure to one or more pesticides over less than 8 hours. Signs and symptoms typically begin shortly after exposure. This is different from chronic pesticide-related illnesses (e.g. cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders) in which signs and symptoms may develop months, or even years after exposure.

Pesticides are any substances used to prevent, destroy, or repel animals, plants, and microorganisms, including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, and rodenticides. Pesticides are most often used in agriculture to protect crops, but are also used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications, where they may be used as cleaning and sterilizing agents.

Why is acute pesticide exposure data important?

Pesticide-related illness impacts people of all ages. The Washington State Department of Health actively tracks and investigates pesticide-related human illnesses. The data in this dashboard provide key information regarding trends in acute pesticide illnesses, including the severity, geography, differences in numbers of illnesses by demographics.

This information can help people better understand the risks associated with pesticides in their communities. It can inform decision-making to reduce risk of pesticide-related illness, such as using personal protective equipment, using less hazardous pesticides, or regulating pesticide products. 

Cases of acute pesticide illness have dropped every year since 2019
Insecticide is the #1 cause of acute pesticide illness
Drift is the most common cause of pesticide exposure

What’s Here

The data in this dashboard show pesticide illness by route of exposure, type of exposure, symptoms and severity, demographics, personal protective equipment use, occupational and agricultural status, label use, functional classes and pesticide classes, method of application, and target crops. The data are available for 2010-2021 at state and Accountable Community of Health (ACH) geographic levels.

View the Data

Acute Pesticide Illnesses

Acute Pesticide Illnesses

Learn More

Pesticides | Washington State Department of Health

Acute Pesticide Illness Dashboard Data Notes (PDF)

Additional Resources

Pesticide Event Summaries | Washington State Department of Health

Pesticide Illness Reporting | Washington State Department of Health

Pesticides | Washington State Department of Health

Food and Pesticides | US EPA

Guidance for Building a State-based Pesticide Surveillance Program - Pesticide Illness & Injury Surveillance | NIOSH | CDC

Reducing Pesticide Drift | US EPA

Acute Nonoccupational Pesticide-Related Illness and Injury — United States, 2007–2011 | MMWR (

Pesticide-related Illness and Injury Surveillance: A How-to Guide for State-based Programs (

Contact Us

For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email

How have you used our data?

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