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Monitoring of Pesticide Poisoning in Germany: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

BfR FAQ of January 10, 2022

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has the legal mandate to collect and to evaluate data on poisoning in Germany and to report on this topic to the public. It cooperates on this task with the poison centres (PCs) of the federal states of Germany and German-speaking Society for Clinical Toxicology (Gesellschaft für Klinische Toxikologie e. V.  - GfKT). A national poisoning register is being set up at the BfR so that new poisoning risks can be identified earlier in the future. A legal basis is required for the establishment of this register, to be created and approved by the German Federal Parliament and the Federal Council of Germany. In order to demonstrate the register’s faster detection of poisoning risks, reports on poisoning cases related to pesticide exposures were collected and evaluated in a pilot study.

The BfR is already registering all cases that medical doctors and PCs report to the institute on a legal basis, including poisonings and suspected cases involving pesticides (plant protection agents and biocides). Currently, pesticide exposures account for around 8% of the total of around 5,000 reports received each year. The evaluation of the data from the pilot study showed that the PCs received a total of 2,647 inquiries (with 2,808 persons affected) about contact with pesticides during the study period from May 2018 to February 2019 - a share of around 1.4% of the total number of calls - mostly on biocides (75.7%) and less often on plant protection agents (17.5%). The case reports on pesticides registered by the BfR based on medical reports in the period 2011-2020 relate almost exclusively to occupational exposures. Within the pesticide product group in broader sense including all biocides, most of the reported health disorders were caused by eye contact with disinfectants.

The BfR has compiled selected questions and answers on the monitoring of poisoning involving pesticides in Germany in the following.



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Monitoring of Pesticide Poisoning in Germany: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 79.5 KB


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