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Application of the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls to prioritize and promote safer methods of pest control: a case study


In 2005, the California Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Branch (OHB) investigated an incident of pesticide exposure and identified 27 vineyard workers who became ill due to drift of cyfluthrin, a pesticide being applied to a neighboring orange field to control katydids. Another pest, citrus thrips, was also present in the field. We investigated safer alternatives for katydid and thrips control to prevent illness due to pesticide exposure and used the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls to prioritize the control methods.

OHB evaluated factors that contributed to pesticide exposure and identified safer alternatives by conducting literature reviews on katydid and thrips control, drift prevention technology, and other relevant topics, and by interviewing integrated pest management advisors, conventional and organic growers, equipment manufacturers, county agricultural commissioners, pest control advisors, regulatory agencies, and others. We prioritized methods using the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls. We identified safer pest control practices that incorporated hazard elimination, chemical substitution, engineering controls, and administrative controls, including employer policies and government regulations.


Weinberg JL, Bunn LJ, Das R. Application of the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls to prioritize and promote safer methods of pest control: a case study. Public Health Rep 2009; 124 (suppl 1): 53-62.

 
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