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Industrial hygiene assessment of new agents - III. Agent III - paraquat.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, IWS 130-40, 1983 May; :1-66
Occupational exposure to paraquat (4685147) was evaluated at a production facility and at two aerial spraying field operations in California. Air sampling was conducted with personal monitoring pumps. The paraquat was desorbed with sulfuric-acid solution, filtered, and determined colorimetrically using sodium-dithionite. During ground spraying operations, personnel operating spray vehicles, truck drivers pumping paraquat, and mixing personnel at the spraying facility were monitored for paraquat concentrations. At the manufacturing facility, airborne concentrations of paraquat ranged from 0.00112 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3) for paraquat supervisors to 0.00772mg/m3 for lab technicians. At the packaging facility, worker exposure ranged from less than 0.0015mg/m3 for weighing station personnel to 0.0250mg/m3 for line wipers. At an aerial application site, exposure ranged from 0.0038 to 0.0192mg/m3 among flaggers. At the ground application site, paraquat exposure ranged from less than 0.0036mg/m3 among blenders to 0.0205mg/m3 for a floater operator. The monitored exposures ranged from short tasks to up to 16 hour periods of continuous operation. Both at manufacturing and field use locations, workers were found to exhibit reasonable prudence in handling of concentrated and spray materials. Elaborate personal protective procedures were in evidence. The careful practices were not observed at ground and aerial spraying applications. The author concludes that among those studied, typical exposure risks for paraquat appear to be minimal and well below the OSHA standard of 0.5mg/m3 as an 8 hour time weighted average. However, workers with occupational exposure to paraquat should receive pulmonary function and blood and liver function tests.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-78-0060; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Region-9; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-hazards; Health-hazards; Industrial-hygiene; Industrial-safety; Chemical-industry-workers; Exposure-levels
Field Studies; Industry Wide
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: June 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division