EPA posts pesticide incident data publicly

pesticide application

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took a major step to increase transparency by posting 10 years of pesticide incident data on its website. Sharing this information advances EPA’s commitment to environmental justice and aligns with EPA’s Equity Action Plan by expanding the availability of data and capacity so the public and community organizations can better understand pesticide exposures, including exposures to vulnerable populations.

EPA considers a pesticide incident as any exposure or effect from a pesticide’s use that is not expected or intended. Pesticide incidents may involve people, domestic animals (e.g., pets or livestock), wildlife, or the environment (e.g., air, soil, water, plants). Reporting a pesticide incident provides EPA with additional information on the effects and consequences of exposures to pesticides affecting people and the environment.

The data sets, which pull information from EPA’s Incident Data System, allow users to access raw data on pesticide exposure incidents such as the incident date, the reason for the report and the severity of the incident. It may also provide information on the location of the incident, the pesticide product and a description of the incident. EPA has not verified the raw data for accuracy or completeness, so users should be aware of this limitation before drawing any conclusions from the data.

The online database is available at: ordspub.epa.gov/ords/pesticides/f?p=359:1

Previously, the EPA generally only provided incident information to the public when responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act or as an incident summary as part of EPA’s pesticide registration review process. EPA has made these data accessible to expand the public’s access and understanding of pesticide incidents and pesticide-related illness. Releasing these data is responsive to many long-standing requests to share incident data with farmworker organizations and public health officials.

EPA has made the last 10 years of incident data accessible because incident data older than 10 years may not reflect pesticide product labels currently on the market due to label changes that may occur during registration review. EPA plans to update the data monthly going forward.

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