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Improving availability of information about human exposures to pesticides

Despite their benefits, pesticides can, in some circumstances, also cause harm to health and the environment.

International conventions, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent, provide a means for countries to protect their populations from exposure to toxic pesticides.

Successful implementation of these conventions requires information about the incidence and circumstances of pesticide exposures, and about the health impact.

In many countries such information is still lacking.

IPCS International Project on the Epidemiology of Human Pesticide Exposures

Aims:

  • To better estimate the extent and outcome of human exposure to pesticides, nationally, regionally and globally.
  • To develop and provide tools for:
    - the collection of internationally harmonized data on human exposures to pesticides;
    - more efficient collection, processing and analysis of information about pesticide products;
  • To assist countries in capacity building for prevention and management of pesticide poisoning, and in decision-making for the safe management of pesticides

Tools for data collection:

  • Pesticides Exposure Record (PER) – a standard format for collecting data on human exposures to pesticides.
  • Core data set, and controlled and defined terminology to describe cases in PER.
  • Protocols for hospital-based and community-based studies.
  • Pesticides Data Management System (in development) for the processing and analysis of data on pesticide exposures.

Tools for processing product data:

  • Software tool for compilation of a products database incorporated into the Pesticide Data Management System
  • Product record complies with internally agreed formats.

Pesticides Databank on CD-ROM and Internet (in development):

  • Collection of internationally peer-reviewed risk assessment documents about pesticides.
  • Poisons Information Monographs
  • Updated IPCS Manual on Diagnosis and Treatment of Pesticide Poisonings
  • Distance learning module on prevention, diagnosis and management of pesticide poisoning, aimed at three levels of user: community physicians, agricultural workers and the general public.

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