What is the PIPAH Study?
The Prospective Investigation of Pesticide Applicators'
Health (PIPAH) Study is the newest of the long term health
studies run by the Health and Safety Executive. It was
established in 2013, with the aim of investigating whether there is
any evidence of a link between working with pesticides and health.
The PIPAH study builds on the work of the Pesticide Users' Health Study
by collecting more detailed information about the study
participants. In the long term, the information from the study will
help to ensure that any risks identified are properly
How do pesticide users become part of the survey?
Men and women who are certified pesticide users are eligible to
join the study. The PIPAH study began in 2013, with the assistance
of City & Guilds, by inviting all the members of the National Register of Sprayer Operators
(NRoSO) and the National Amenity Sprayer Operators'
Register (NAsOR) to take part in the study. Members of HSE's
other long term health study on pesticides, the Pesticide Users' Health Study,
were invited to join in 2014. The study continues to grow as new
members of NRoSO and NAsOR also join.
How do we collect information about the study participants'
When certified pesticide users agree to take part in the study,
they are asked to complete a questionnaire. This includes questions
about the types of pesticides they have used, their health and
other factors that can affect their health such as lifestyle, diet,
smoking habit and alcohol intake. In the future, study participants
will be invited to complete further questionnaires about pesticide
use and particular health conditions.
In addition to this, the study team obtains data from NHS Digital
(formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)).
Study member name, address, sex and date of birth are sent to NHS
Digital so that they can be linked to the relevant data sets.
NHS Digital will then send the study team hospital episode
statistics (HES) data relating to study members. The HES data
includes the date of hospital admission, the length of the stay and
the condition being treated. NHS Digital will also provide the
study team with cancer data on behalf of Public Health England, and
mortality data on behalf of the Office for National
For these two sets of data, NHS Digital sends the study team
information on the date of the event and the cancer type or cause
of death. NHS Digital also informs the study team if a study member
has emigrated. In this way, the study team can follow up the long
term health status of study participants.
How do we use the study participants' data?
The data collected by the study is used for medical research
purposes only, and is kept strictly confidential. The data will be
used to investigate whether there is any evidence of a link between
working with pesticides and health. The PIPAH study data may also
be pooled with data from similar studies in other countries, in
order to study the relationships between pesticides and health for
less common health conditions. Individuals would not be
identifiable in any data shared in this way with other approved
The study findings will be freely available online in Health and
Safety Executive Research Reports, other published articles and in
the study newsletter. The findings will be used to inform future
What if a study participant changes their mind?
If someone agrees to take part in the study, they can ask to
withdraw from all or part of the research study at any point in the
future, using the contact information given at the foot of this
page. However, the study team will keep the information collected
up to the time they withdraw from the study. This is because the
information will already be part of earlier analyses and published
statistics. These reports do not contain any identifiable data and
it is not possible to remove individual data from them.
How long will the study last?
The PIPAH study is a long-term study and currently HSE has not
set an end date for it. The data collected by the study will be
stored securely for 15 years after the end of the study. This is
HSE's standard policy for this type of information. Retaining the
data for this period ensures that any findings are traceable for a
reasonable time after publication.
How is the study funded?
The PIPAH study is funded by the Health and Safety Executive and by the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs.
If you have any questions at all about the research, please
contact the survey team:
The PIPAH Study
Health and Safety Executive
T: 0800 093 4809
Or via the website Contact Form.
- PIPAH Study Newsletter, Jan
2017 (PDF, 4.9 MB)
In its fourth year, the study has reached an important
- PIPAH Study
Newsletter, Jan 2015 (PDF, 7.0
An update of the study's progress in 2014 and our planned
activities in 2015.
- PIPAH Study Newsletter, Jan
2014 (PDF, 7.0 MB)
Contains some preliminary facts about the study participants and
the work they do.