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PARC meeting minutes January 18, 2006
Attendance
Board members present
Chris Kirby – PARC Board Administrator
Dale Mitchell – ODA Co-Chair
Michael Heumann – DHS Co-Chair
Chris Kuenzi – OSFM
Brad Knotts – ODF
Gene Foster – DEQ
Garnet Cooke – OR/OSHA
Sandy Giffin – OHSU/Poison Control

Board members absent
Richard Kepler – ODF&W
Consultants present
Dr. Dan Sudakin - OSU
Will Lackey - ODOT
Kaci Agle – ODA, PARC
Dr. Fred Berman – CROET
Joan Rothlein – CROET
Guests present
Sunny Jones - ODA
Introductions
All present were introduced. Called to order: 9:05 am
Sunny Jones provided an expanded introduction, noting that she graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Bioresource Research (Soils Minor) in 2003 before working at the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). Jones began working at ODA in the Pesticides Division on January 3, 2006.


Minutes
Minutes from the November 16, 2005 PARC Board meeting were available for review and comment. Minutes were approved with favorable comments.
MOA with member agencies
Update on securing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PARC Member Agencies: Chris Kirby provided this update, saying that all member agencies have either completed the process, or they have a version of the MOA in their possession with his signature, ready for theirs.
TOSC/Dallas workgroup
Michael Heumann briefly described the workgroup’s meeting on November 16, 2005, noting that much time was spent responding to concerns raised by community members. Minutes from this meeting were compiled, and are available from Kaci Agle. Heumann said that TOSC staff have not met with community members since our last discussion. Heumann said he was assured that TOSC staff/advisors have decided not to conduct a previously discussed informal survey of adverse health conditions in the Dallas area. Heumann said the whole workgroup tried to convey that the risk of such a survey (raise undue alarm, set false expectations) would be without benefit (no scientifically valid comparison to be made, no conclusion could be drawn.)

Draft documents
Agle presented two revised draft documents for the Board’s review, including:
  1. Pesticide Issues… who should you call? – Agle presented this poster-type publication to replace the old “Pesticide Resources” poster, which incorporated comments from the November PARC meeting. Heumann expressed concern about the amount of information on the poster, and asked if another version with more white space could be developed. Agle said that bulletin-board space is often in short supply. Heumann asked if the publication would be translated into Spanish; Kirby said resources were available to accomplish that. Heumann verified that OPC, OSHA, and NPIC have Spanish-speaking capability, and asked if the PARC phone message was available in Spanish. Kirby said that ODA doesn’t currently have a phone system that would allow splitting (1 for English, 2 for Spanish). Garnet Cooke said that this publication would be helpful when posted outdoors, and she mentioned a Tyvek-like paper that can be used. She agreed to follow up with Agle to provide more information. Heumann said that Agle should notify OERS about this publication before “going final.” Agle agreed to contact them. There was some discussion of the HCP version (for health care providers), that would include Department of Public Health (formerly Health Services), NPIC, OPC and ODA/PARC.
  2. Contacts for PARC Member Agencies – Agle presented this resource for support staff in the offices of PARC member agencies with information about PARC and other pesticide-related contacts, which incorporated comments from the November PARC Board meeting. Several representatives said they would modify this version before using it within their own agencies. Agle agreed to send a version of the document in Microsoft Word, so that others could easily modify it. Dale Mitchell asked that Board members report back at the next meeting about the document’s usefulness.
(Thanks to all Board members for the thoughtful review and great suggestions!)

Referral criteria
Agle described the purpose of the document, to serve as a reference for PARC representatives and staff when routing and investigating pesticide incidents. The document was distributed via email one week before the meeting, and it includes the criteria that would trigger a case “referral” to each member agency, and a brief description of their resources/programs that would be available to help investigate an incident. Sandy Giffin suggested one correction, and Heumann said the document would have to be updated to reflect the new official name of his organization. Heumann suggested adding a section for ODOT in the document, and Agle suggested adding the NPMMP (National Pesticide Medical Monitoring Program). Dr. Sudakin said he would think about that. Agle agreed to send a reminder to each person for whom there were suggested additions/revisions, and request text by January 27, 2006.
Old business
  1. Kaci Agle, Dale Mitchell, Dr. Sudakin and Michael Heumann provided an update about the Florence case. Agle and Heumann distributed summaries. Each member agency involved in the investigation except ODA has completed their assessment and issued some kind of narrative summary. Heumann’s summary of this “sentinel event”, prepared by George Evans, included a list of recommendations that HS proposed that PARC make. Dr. Sudakin said he would add a similar list of recommendations to his own summary, or otherwise add support to those that Heumann et al. had already proposed. Heumann said that he had been collecting data regarding pyrethroid indoor incidents from a variety of sources including EPA (unsubstantiated compiled reports), NIOSH (12-15 states, evaluated cases) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Rothlein suggested that the case be reported in a journal; Heumann agreed that would be appropriate. He also proposed to write a broader review of pyrethroid indoor incidents, perhaps in conjunction with Dr. Sudakin.

    Dale Mitchell indicated that it’s time to classify this case and release something to the media. Joan Rothlein suggested that some outreach to medical examiner(s) would be appropriate to curb future miscommunications [The medical examiner in this case made reference in his official report to “non-toxic levels” of pyrethroid insecticides, causing some misunderstanding of the inherent dose-response relationship]. In broader terms, the group agreed that this case would be a good teaching tool for a wide variety of law enforcement professionals related to risk communication. Agle agreed to draft a Risk Communication presentation, targeting law enforcement/medical examiners for future use. Garnet Cooke pointed out another “teachable moment” for fire departments, emergency responders re: charging into potentially hazardous environments. Kirby suggested that PARC should make a recommendation to OR-OSHA about performing such outreach.The group discussed the features of a future press release, and Heumann described ways to keep medical information confidential while providing meaningful information. He suggested that the PARC Coordinator develop a summary of the case, including portions of reports from ODA, Oregon State Public Health (formerly Health Services or HS), and Dr. Sudakin (OSU). The press release would refer to this summary as a source of more information. Kirby suggested we call it a “PARC-authorized Executive Summary.” Giffin asked if legal counsel should be sought; Heumann didn’t necessarily think so. Further discussion was tabled until the “New Business” portion of the agenda. They agreed to use this as a “test case” for the new classification scheme, once approved.
  2. Gene Foster provided an update on the ongoing project related to fruit packing houses in the Hood River area. OSU, DEQ and fruit growers in the Hood River area worked on the project to monitor water for the presence of some pesticides (insecticides and fungicides) used in fruit production. Foster said that they were expecting results by the end of the year; data validation is in progress. He said that the packing plants are now aware of a problem, and they’re working with DEQ. He said they think that the problem may be the water that floats the fruit (which is recycled) and not the water that washes the fruit (which is not recycled.) Foster also said that Dick Nichols is the project leader, and he’s looking for economic development dollars to help make capital improvements to reduce runoff/discharge risk. More information will follow.

New business
New complaints/incidents - agency updates
  1. ODA-PD: 6 total cases. Mitchell and Agle gave a brief presentation on the Irrigon case, wherein three herbicides were detected below 1ppm in water from a hole in the ground (5-6 feet deep) in Irrigon, Morrow County. Agle described another case that involved a well-water user applying a home test kit for pesticides, finding a positive for “triazines.” Fred Berman and Garnet Cooke discussed back-flow prevention devices as a potential risk-reduction strategy. Mitchell described a child fatality in Eugene, wherein pesticides were briefly considered as a contributing factor. More details will follow, but Mitchell said they (police and ODA staff) were “pretty much ruling it out” as a pesticide-related fatality. Gene Foster asked about the Walker fish case; Agle said that laboratory results for water samples are still forthcoming. Tentative results on the fish samples indicated that no pesticides were detected. Foster cautioned that toxicity at the gill-water interface may not result in appreciable residues in fish tissues.
  2. OSPH: 58 total cases (9/1/05 – 1/18/06), mostly received from OPC (Oregon Poison Center). Heumann described one case that involved 10 foggers discharged in one room. He said there were “lots of cases” related to head-lice shampoos; permethrin, not lindane. Giffin said that OPC receives an inordinate amount of reports for anything used around the home, and she was not surprised by the number of incidents during the school year’s opening weeks/months.
  3. ODOT: Will Lackey said that ODOT is in its second year of having a “hotline” available to the public at 1(888)996-8080. He said they had received about 30 calls last year, and most of them were from Lane County, many from the same person.
Rothlein said it would be helpful to have summaries of new cases in writing, rather than reported orally. The group agreed. Agle made a note to develop a “report” function in the new database when it is created/available.

Procedural questions
See attached document entitled, “PARC Case Classification Strategy: Procedural Questions for consideration of the Board on January 18, 2006”.

In response to question #1, the Board reached affirmative consensus on choice b) [The Board requested that “consultants, partners and PARC staff” be added to the proposed text] Representatives from PARC member agencies, consultants, partners, and PARC staff that played a role in the case will classify the case. Heumann said that all classifying groups should include PARC staff, currently Kaci Agle. He also said that OSPH will continue to classify all of their cases based on the NIOSH classification system, which apparently was developed here in Oregon, by PARC participants. Agle noted that incident reports (IR) will not be classified, only PARC cases. Rothlein asked who makes the determination for each situation (IR or case?); Heumann and Mitchell said that PARC staff would do that. Agle noted that all such decisions would be modifiable by the Board. Lackey asked if all drift cases would be considered PARC cases; Mitchell responded “Not necessarily” and described potential triggers, such as impacts to streams, fish, animal or human health that would elevate a drift-related IR to being a PARC case. Foster said that if we see few environmental cases, that should be considered a problem of under-reporting, and any description of the resultant statistics should include that caveat. Kirby said that the activities of PARC do not supercede any of the agencies’ statutory authority, including that of DEQ; Foster agreed. In response to question #2, the Board felt that a) was clearer than b), and should be used as the guidance question for the Certainty Index: Were the reported/documented impacts caused by the reported/documented pesticide exposure? (Definite, Probable, Possible, Unlikely, Unrelated). In addition, the Board reached an affirmative consensus on the use of BOTH a certainty index and a severity index for each case. Sudakin said that it would help distinguish frequency from severity; Giffin agreed. In this way, the Board hopes to identify the most severe impacts attributed to pesticides with the most certainty. Once identified, the Board can act to mitigate those risks by recommending actions.
Rothlein, Cooke, Berman and Heumann discussed other important cases that may not be considered high in certainty or severity, but may represent opportunities to reduce risk of major exposures in the future.
Examples:
1) A pesticide formulation erodes the lining of a commonly used hose, causing a small spill.
Outcome: No symptoms reported, low in severity. However, PARC may have an opportunity to prevent future spills/exposures by making a recommendation to the product manufacturer re: label statements and/or formulation adjustments.
2) An applicator spills a pesticide all over herself while taking off a backpack sprayer.
Outcome: She acted quickly to decontaminate, and no symptoms were reported. However, PARC may have an opportunity to prevent future spills/exposures by making a recommendation to the equipment manufacturer regarding safety and/or integrity.

Cooke said that OR-OSHA uses an index of “Probability of future accident/exposure/problem” ranging from high (imminent) to low (not likely).

Agle suggested a binomial (y/n) box-check field in the database to “flag” cases of importance. Rothlein said that the definition would have to be much more clear [Agle prepared a draft definition for this field in a memo to PARC Administration; it is attached]. Berman said that scenarios should be considered in such a way as to evaluate potential risk due to toxicity, formulation, and/or exposures to sensitive populations that may not have been impacted this time. If a “flag” method is used, Rothlein said there should be a short narrative field used to describe the reason for the flag.

Giffin and Knotts asked about the EPA-OPP classification list, which uses Major, Moderate and Minor identifiers. They asked if definitions were available for the environmental categories (water, soil, etc.). Agle agreed to follow up and find out.

Given the need to classify the Florence case before the next PARC meeting, the Board authorized a subgroup (to include Dr. Sudakin, Michael Heumann, Dale Mitchell and Kaci Agle) to classify the case according to draft classification criteria that were presented to the Board via email on January 13, 2006.

Heumann said that the Classification criteria would be earlier on the agenda next time, and they would be free to spend more time considering these important issues. Discussion was tabled until the next meeting.