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The Pesticide poisoning surveillance activities are part of the
Chemical Disease Surveillance Program (CDSP).
The objective of the pesticide surveillance is to effectively monitor and prevent pesticide poisoning in Florida.
The Goals of the program include organizing a Working Group, establishing a centralized reporting site, investigating reports of pesticide poisoning, and conducting educational outreach activities. Department of Health and other state agency personnel, farm worker and farm worker advocacy organizations, academicians, grower organizations, agrochemical associations, and Florida Poison Information Network staff are collaborating on program goals. Collaboration activities and results are reviewed during quarterly meetings of the Working Group.
The Working Group is organized to address specific program tasks; database construction, educational material production, surveillance coordination, and worker training. Working Group members collaborate on database design, case definition revision, educational initiatives, and investigation and enforcement of state and federal pesticide laws. Working Group members also receive a weekly electronic bulletin of pesticide-related news articles and reports.
The Program has two main prevention and education initiatives underway. One initiative targets farm workers as a recognized high-risk group. The other initiative targets health care professionals to raise awareness regarding pesticide poisoning prevention, recognition, management, and reporting.
The farm worker education initiative targets female farm workers and is intended to provide information on pesticide safety and good prenatal care practices. The outreach tool (still under development) is a radio novella (audiocassette) in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Q'anjobal (an indigenous Guatemalan language). The radio novella will be distributed by Working Group members and may receive airtime on radio stations serving farm worker communities.
An education initiative targeting health professionals gathered experts on pesticide safety and medical management of poisoning cases for a live satellite teleconference on pesticide poisoning issues. This education initiative was telecast statewide on February 24, 1999. County Health Department, Rural Community Health Centers,
Area Health Education Center staff and other health professionals participated at more than 40 sites around the state. The teleconference was intended to raise awareness among physicians of the potential health effects of pesticides on farm workers and other at-risk groups. More information, including a review of questions and answers generated during the Teleconference will be available soon.
A centralized reporting site has been established and is receiving reports of pesticide-related illness from multiple sources, including the County Health Departments, Florida Poison Information Network, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and farm worker advocacy groups. Reports are classified according to CDC/NIOSH'S definition
(PDF, 23kb) for pesticide-related illness.