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Exposure of commercial pesticide applicators to the herbicide alachlor.
Sanderson WT; Ringenburg V; Biagini R
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1995 Sep; 56(9):890-897
A study was conducted on the skin and inhalation exposure of commercial pesticide applicators to alachlor (15972608). Alachlor inhalation and skin deposition were measured in pesticide applicators and hauler/mixers using personal air samplers and skin patches. The degree of hand exposure was assessed at the end of a workshift, as was contamination within application vehicles. The mean inhalation exposure of the subjects was 1.6 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3) and ranged from 0.32 to 6.4microg/m3. Skin exposure assessments indicated a large variability in exposure with levels ranging from less than 0.01 micrograms/square centimeter to 32.0 micrograms/square centimeter, with the highest levels measured from patches worn on the thigh. Alachlor concentrations in postshift hand wash samples ranged from 3 to 324 micrograms. Alachlor was detected in all but two of the vehicle surface wipe samples and five of the samples obtained from steering wheels contained over 100 micrograms of alachlor. No significant associations were identified between total inhalation and body exposure estimates and number of pounds of pesticide applied, number of acres sprayed, or length of time spent spraying. The one worker who drove a tractor in which the spray boom was located directly in front of the driver with the tanks located on the side demonstrated a level of air exposure almost twice that seen for the other workers, along with a skin exposure three times higher than any other applicator. The authors conclude that exposure control precautions should be used by workers exposed to alachlor.
NIOSH-Author; Herbicides; Occupational-exposure; Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-workers; Skin-exposure; Exposure-levels; Environmental-contamination
Wayne T. Sanderson, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division