Pesticides & Health

Emergency Poison Control Number
California (800) 876-4766
United States (800) 222-1222


Pesticides & Your Health

As numerous studies have shown, pesticides can make you, your family, even your pets, sick &endash; potentially causing a wide range of problems in the neurological, immune, and reproductive systems, as well as cancer.

However, it can often be difficult to get an accurate diagnosis of pesticide-caused conditions. Many of the first symptoms of exposure can seem like other problems (the flu, "just a headache," etc.), making people and even doctors dismiss them. And most health care practitioners (even those using complementary medicine) haven't been trained to consider and diagnose pesticide exposure symptoms. As a result, you can be misdiagnosed and mistreated &endash; while the exposure and harm continues!

If you think pesticide exposure might be related to a health problem you're having, mention this to your health professional. And help your health care provider recognize and treat pesticide problems by letting them know about two handy (and free!) resource books. (And you can use them to educate yourself!)

* Pesticides and Human Health: A Resource for Health Care Professionals, by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR). You can download it free at <>. California residents can get a free copy of this book by calling (888) CPR-4880.

* Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Get this free book by calling (800) 490-9198 and asking for order number EPA735R98003.

Another resource for health professionals is this:

* Online Pesticide Poisoning Diagnostic Tool. To help healthcare providers recognize, manage, and report pesticide-related illnesses.Go to <> and click on "Pesticide Poisoning Diagnostic Tool."

If your health professional believes pesticides caused your problem, be sure they report it to Sonoma County's Department of Health Services by calling 565-6565. Most aren't aware that this reporting is mandatory; as a result, there is serious under-reporting that discourages government action.

Also keep the Emergency Poison Control number handy for you and your family, in case of an emergency exposure.

You can help avoid health problems from pesticides and other toxics by identifying those you and your family might be exposed to in your home, garden, work, or school. Remember to dispose of toxics at the next Toxics Pickup Day.

Here's to your health!

~ Patricia Dines


This is based on an article in The Next STEP newsletter Volume 1, Number 5, Sepember/October 2001. Updated 01/27/2004. For more information about STEP (the Sebastopol Toxics Education Program), click here.

Document (c) Copyright Patricia Dines, 2003-2004. All rights reserved.


Curing the Incurable Migraine, by Lynn Lawson, Conscious Choice, June 2000 -

For forty years I suffered from what I thought was an incurable disease: migraines. Now I know that migraines are neither incurable nor a disease. It is a symptom. Once I realized that, I was on the right track toward a cure. And once I had followed my internist's recommendation to see an environmental specialist, I discovered the environmental causes of the headaches that had finally made me desperate..... (article continues on website)

Note: From what she learned about toxics and health harm, Lawson wrote an excellent book, "Staying Well in a Toxic World: Understanding Environmental Illness, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chemical Injuries, and Sick Building Syndrome." It's thorough and informative while being engaging and enjoyable to read. A great way to get informed! More information is at



Information courtesy of:

"Information Empowering Action for a Healthier World"


We hope this information (and our work) is valuable to you,
and supports the health and well-being of yourself,
your family, our community, and our world.
If it is, please let us know. It makes us happy to hear!

You can support our work and ensure that it continues. For instance, you can link to our site and let others know about it. Or become a CAP member! For more information, click on the "About CAP" button above.

If you find a broken link or outdated information, or want to suggest an addition or edit to this page, please let us know by emailing info[at] Please include both the webpage name and the relevant information.

Thank you to everyone who supports our ability to offer this information
to our community, for our planet!

This entire website is (c) Community Action Publications, 1998-2007. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 05/10/07.