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Assessment of Measurement Techniques for Worker Exposure to Pesticides.

Burkart JA; Gehrich JL; Smith TJ; Segura RP; Turner ER
NIOSH 1979 Oct:140 pages
Measurement methods for worker exposures to organophosphorus pesticides (OP) were evaluated. Industrial pesticide formulators and pesticide applicators and helpers completed questionnaires and received physical examinations. Exposed subjects and unexposed comparisons also were given the saccade velocity test for visual tracking, an eye hand coordination test, a mood assessment test, urinary assays for OP metabolites, and determination of red blood cell cholinesterase. Data was analyzed to identify OP exposure effects and the relative ability of each test to detect the effects of OP exposure. Neurological and sensory examinations were also given to subjects. Metabolic assays were the most effective indicators of pesticide exposure. Urinary alkyl-phosphate metabolites discriminated between exposed and nonexposed subjects and indicated dose relationships. Cholinesterase was depressed in exposed subjects, but not to a significant extent. Eye hand coordination tests produced statistically significant differences between exposed and nonexposed subjects, with exposed subjects requiring more time for task completion. No consistent differences between exposed and comparison subjects were found in the saccade velocity test or the mood assessment questionnaire. Exposed subjects had a significantly higher incidence of neurological problems than nonexposed subjects. The authors conclude that the urinary alkyl-phosphate metabolism test shows the most promise as an indicator of OP pesticide exposures.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-76-0153; Analytical-methods; Agricultural-workers; Health-surveys; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Bioassays; Screening-methods; Medical-monitoring; Occupational-medicine;
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Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Cincinnati, Ohio, 140 pages
Page last reviewed: February 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division