Pesticide poisoning calls: facts & figures

Unintentional, non-occupational pesticide-related calls to the Minnesota Poison Control System:

Data on calls to the MN Poison Control System about pesticide poisoning can be a useful way to look at trends in pesticide poisonings.

From 2005 to 2016, about 3% of all calls to the MN Poison Control System (16,489 out of 570,000) were about pesticide exposure concerns. 


Pesticide calls in Minnesota, by month

Source: MN Poison Control System. 2005-2016

There is a seasonal pattern of calls to the MN Poison Control System about pesticide poisonings. Pesticide calls increase in the summer and peak in July, probably due to increased use of pesticides during that time.


Pesticide calls in Minnesota, by age 

Source: MN Poison Control System.

Overall trends show pesticide calls for children under age 4  are going down, while calls for adults age 20 to 64 have increased. From 2005 to 2016, the number of calls for other age groups stayed fairly consistent.


Pesticide calls in Minnesota, by age and sex

Source: MN Poison Control System.

Most pesticide calls to the MN Poison Control System are for concerns about children under age 4 exposed to pesticides. For the younger age groups, there are more calls about boys being poisoned than girls. Young children are mostly exposed by accidentally ingesting household pesticides.

Another group of concern are adults age 20 to 64. This group probably uses household pesticides the most. In this age group, there are more calls about females being poisoned. Adults in this age group are mostly exposed through skin contact, inhaling, or ingesting pesticides by accident or misuse of insecticides and herbicides.  


Pesticide calls by pesticide type for children under age 5

Source: MN Poison Control System. Exposure to more than one pesticide category is possible.

From 2005 to 2016, the Minnesota Poison Control System received 9,223 calls about pesticide exposures in children under age 5. Calls received about children under age 5 are primarily for insecticides, and rarely for exposure to fumigants or fungicides.


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