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. 


Pesticide calls are highest in summer months

Number of pesticide calls, 2005-2015
Source: MN Poison Control System.

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

From 2005 to 2015, about 3% of all calls to the MN Poison Control System (15,385 out of 526,000) were about pesticides.


Pesticide calls for young children are decreasing

Number of pesticide calls, 2005-2015, 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 2015, the number of calls for other age groups stayed fairly consistent.


Pesticide calls are highest for children under age 4

Number of pesticide calls, 2005-2015, by age and sex
Source: MN Poison Control System.

Most pesticide calls to the MN Poison Control System are about children under age 4.  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 pesticides.  


Insecticides cause most pesticide poisoning calls for children

Number of pesticide calls by pesticide type for children under age 5, 2005-2015
Source: MN Poison Control System. Exposure to more than one pesticide category is possible.

From 2005 to 2015, the Minnesota Poison Control System received 8,660 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.


Related: