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Comparative assessment of protective clothing performance by measurement of dermal exposure during pesticide applications.
Appl Ind Hyg 1988 Jul; 3(7):207-213
The effectiveness of different types of protective clothing commonly used in the agricultural industry during pesticide applications was assessed. A total of eight mixers and 17 applicators working the California citrus groves were studied for dermal exposure beneath protective clothing. The workers wore baseball caps, half mask respirators, neoprene gloves, workboots, 100 percent cotton T- shirts, and 65/35 cotton polyester work pants. The protective garments tested included 50/50 cotton polyester work shirts, 65/35 cotton polyester woven coveralls, and nonwoven coveralls made of untreated Tyvek. The fluorescent tracer, 4-methyl-7- diethylaminocoumarin, was mixed with the pesticide, and the workers' dermal exposure was studied using video imaging and computer analysis. Increased exposures were observed at the sleeve and neck openings of the garments, and the exposures were particularly notable for workers wearing coveralls. Exposure levels decreased with increasing distance from the neck and sleeve openings. All workers also showed exposure to the hand regardless of the use of chemical protective gloves. Hand exposure levels averaged 138 and 58 micrograms for mixers and applicators respectively. A total of 24 of the 25 workers studied showed exposures to areas covered by the protective garments. The rank order of exposure from greatest to least for body part was forearms, torso, and upper arms, and the rank order of protection from greatest to least by clothing type was nonwoven coverall, woven coverall, workshirt.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Occupational-exposure; Skin-protection; Skin-exposure; Protective-clothing; Protective-materials
Biomedical & Environ Hlth Scis University of California School of Public Health Berkeley, Calif 94720
Issue of Publication
Applied Industrial Hygiene
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division