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Occupational Pesticide Illness Prevention Program

Preventing Worker Illness from Indoor Pesticide Exposure

An exterminator uses a flashlight to examine an office file cabinet for signs of bugsWorkers in a variety of indoor settings can become ill from the application of pesticides. In data collected by the Occupational Pesticide Illness Prevention Program from 1998-2009, nearly one out of five people who reported work-related pesticide illnesses were exposed to pesticides in indoor air.

Because workers and members of the public can become ill from pesticide use indoors, steps must be taken to eliminate or reduce human exposures.

There are effective and safe ways to control pests indoors without the use of sprayed pesticides. Employers and employees can take steps to prevent pests from invading in the first place, and building managers and owners can hire pest control companies committed to using the safest and most effective treatment methods possible when an infestation occurs.

A team approach among employees, employers, building management, and pest control companies is needed to keep pests out of the workplace and workers protected if pesticides must be used.

Occupational Health Branch (OHB) investigations and reports

Additional resources – Using Integrated Pest Management

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