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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 17, 2015

Windblown Pesticide Hazard

JAMA. 2015;313(11):1094. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1371

Errant pesticides that drift from one farm to another are the leading cause of acute pesticide-related illnesses among farmworkers. Case in point: in April 2014, 20 laborers in a Washington State cherry orchard fell ill within minutes of exposure to pesticides sprayed in an adjacent pear orchard.

All 20 workers had neurologic symptoms, such as headaches and paresthesias, and nearly all had gastrointestinal, ocular, and respiratory symptoms that for many lasted at least 2 weeks (Calvert GM et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64[2]:42-44).