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Pesticide exposure during greenhouse applications, Part I. Dermal exposure reduction due to directional ventilation and work training.
Methner MM; Fenske RA
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1994 Aug; 9(8):560-566
A study of the effect of ventilation on applicator pesticide exposures in a commercial greenhouse was conducted. The study group consisted of nine workers employed at two commercial green houses in Florida. Four were experienced pesticide applicators and five were inexperienced. The greenhouses were ventilated by fans and louvers to provide unidirectional air flows of 5.2 meters per second. Each worker performed a simulated pesticide application by spraying a fluorescent tracer on the plants from a handgun for 0.67 to 1.2 hours. The ventilation systems were operating in some experiments and turned off in other experiments. The subjects were videotaped during the spraying operations. The extent of dermal deposition of the tracer was determined by analyzing the pattern of fluorescent spots on the videotapes and from the amount of tracer deposited on patches attached to the subject's arms and legs. Videotape analysis revealed that the upper arms were the least exposed region regardless of whether the ventilation system was turned on or off. Mean total deposition of the tracer on the bodies of the experienced applicators was decreased seven fold when the ventilation system was operating, compared to when it was not. Total body deposition of the inexperienced applicators was increased ten to 30 fold when the ventilation system was on compared to when it was off. The mean total deposition of the tracer was similar for the experienced and inexperienced applicators when the ventilation system was turned off. The decrease in tracer deposition observed on the experienced applicators when the ventilation system was on was due to their remaining upwind of the aerosol drift pattern. When the ventilation system was operating, the overall mean exposure decrease of the experienced applicators was 92%. The overall mean exposure of the inexperienced applicators increased by 40%. The authors conclude that pesticide applicators can employ strong unidirectional ventilation to their advantage by remaining upwind of the aerosol drift pattern when applying pesticides by handgun in greenhouses.
NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Agricultural-chemicals; Occupational-exposure; Simulation-methods; Work-practices; Air-flow; Ventilation-systems; Skin-exposure; Agricultural-workers
Environmental Sciences Rutgers University P O Box 231, Cook College New Brunswick, N J 08903
Issue of Publication
Other Occupational Concerns; Grants-other
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Rutgers the State Univ New Brunswick, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division