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375 Surveillance of Plant Protection Pesticides-related poisonings and injuries
  1. L Settimi1,
  2. F Davanzo2,
  3. L Cossa1,
  4. E Urbani1,
  5. F Giordano3
  1. 1National Centrefor Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Health Promotion National Institute of Health (ISS), Rome, Italy
  2. 2Poison Control Centre of Milan, Niguarda Cà Granda Hospital, Milan, Italy
  3. 3Department of Public Health, “La Sapienza” University, Rome, Italy


Background Regulation 2009/1185/EU on sustainable use of pesticides requires reporting from European Member States on plant protection pesticide (PPP) poisonous exposures. These data can provide information to identify emerging problems and populations at risk, support the development of preventive and regulatory measures and evaluate their effectiveness. In Italy, a surveillance of acute PPP-related poisonings (SAPReP), based on Poison Control Centres data, has been implemented since 2001. In this contribution are presented the main characteristics of cases exposed in Italy in 2007–2012.

Methods series of cases identified by the National Poison Control Centre in Milan, reviewed and classified by the Italian National Institute of Health according to standard procedures.

Results In 2007–2012, SAPReP identified 2,108 cases of accidental PPP-related poisonings and injuries. Male patients were 1,442 (68%) while females were 442 (20%). Gender was unknown in 12% of cases (No. 224) Severity of poisoning was low in 84% of cases (No. 1,774), moderate in 14% (n. 305), high in 1% (n. 28). One case of death was identified. About 50% of poisonings occurred at work, in agricultural settings, and 36% at home. Some 70% of exposures occurred between May and September. Insecticides/acaricides were responsible in 42% of poisonings, fungicides/bactericides in 16%, herbicides in 15%, and soil sterilants in 13%. Five mass exposures were identified: two incidents were caused by off-site drift of metam sodium, a soil sterilant, and involved 86 and 103 by-standers, respectively; two incidents were caused by chlorpyrifos methyl, an organophosphate insecticide/acaricide (one occurred in a hospital, 10 cases; one occurred in agricultural setting, 20 agricultural workers); one incident was caused by phenthoate and involved 40 agricultural workers

Conclusions Surveillance based on data collected by Poison Control Centres provides an important tool to identify emerging problems and associated risk factors. The observations available in Italy on PPP-related poisonings and injuries suggest that greater efforts are needed to prevent these types of incidents.

  • Surveillance
  • plant protection pesticides
  • poison control centres
  • poisonings and injuries

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