There is now a smartphone and tablet app for tracking and reporting pesticide exposure quickly to state authorities.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation receives about 300 pesticide complaints annually, according to a press release. (In 2018, there were more than 989,000 agriculture workers in California.)
DPR developed a free app with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The app, called CASPIR—that’s California’s System for Pesticide Incident Reporting—is designed to track pesticide-related illnesses with the goal of increasing the efficiency of processing and tracking investigations. The app is accessible in both English and Spanish, and offers a way for users to file a new incident report from a smartphone, track existing reports and access information on how to use the app.
According to DPR, the Central California Environmental Justice Network, which works with San Joaquin Valley farmworkers, had previously seen clients struggle to define the location of exposure when filing a report with investigators. The app allows access to sharing a GPS location, photos, videos and descriptions.
"We have seen that farmworkers, who are trying to report a pesticide incident at work, sometimes have difficulty describing the exact location of the fields,” CCEJN Director Nayamin Martinez said in the press release. “We are glad that CASPIR can help address this issue with its GPS system.”
Reports are confidential, and go only to DPR’s enforcement staff and the county agricultural commissioner where the alleged exposure occurred, according to DPR. Users can also choose to remain anonymous.
The app is also meant to be used outside of the agriculture industry. After all, pesticides can be found beyond the fields. Around 66 percent of pesticide-related illnesses in California occur outside of agricultural settings, including homes and restaurants. Anyone can use the app to report pesticide-related exposure in any setting.
To download the app, visit cdpr.ca.gov or download it from Google Play or the App Store for free.