CDC Selects Pesticide Illness Study for Weekly Top Ten

Soo-Jeong Lee

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) highlighted COEH member Soo-Jeong Lee's first-authored article in Environmental Health Perspectives as one of the top 10 significant public health articles of the week.1 The article was named in the June 13 issue of Science Clips, a digest from the CDC Public Health Library and Information Center.

Lee's study estimates the incidence of acute illnesses from pesticide drift resulting from outdoor agriculture applications. It analyzes almost 3,000 pesticide drift cases identified in 11 states during 1998-2006. Agricultural workers and residents of agricultural regions were found to have the highest rate of pesticide poisoning from drift exposure. Soil fumigations were responsible for 45 percent of cases, while aerial applications accounted for 24 percent.2  

Common factors contributing to drift cases included weather conditions, improper sealing of the fumigation site and applicator carelessness near non-target areas.

Lee joined the faculty at UCSF in August 2010 as an assistant professor with the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) Program. Previously, Lee worked as a post-doctoral fellow for the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service, a training program for public health and applied epidemiology.


2 Lee S-J, Mehler L, Beckman J, Diebolt-Brown B, Prado J, Lackovic M, et al. 2011. Acute Pesticide Illnesses Associated with Off-Target Pesticide Drift from Agricultural Applications — 11 States, 1998–2006. Environmental Health Perspectives. Online: 06 June 2011.


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