NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Herbicide safety gets shorted in the field.
Progressive Farmer 1992 Apr; :42
The results of a NIOSH survey of 27 trained commercial applicators using alachlor (15972608) were discussed. Although all applicators were experienced, inconsistent use of safety clothing and measures were observed. Breathing zone air samples, skin exposure and urine samples were analyzed for alachlor exposure. Workers with the highest air and skin exposures also had the highest urinary herbicide levels. Highest skin exposures were recorded for thighs and hands. Leaning against contaminated equipment, splashes during mixing and loading operations and wiping of contaminated gloves and hands were considered causes of thigh exposures. Hand exposure also occurred during mixing and loading and when gloves were removed for improved dexterity. Failure to wash contaminated hands before putting on gloves carried contamination to the inside of the gloves. Workers were also observed eating and smoking with contaminated hands. Gloves were not replaced or cleaned after repeated contaminations, some containing holes or cracks continued to be used. Out of 27 workers, 24 wore gloves, with nine wearing herbicide absorbing, cotton lined gloves. Herbicide drenched applicators were observed continuing work for several hours without changing clothes. Safety tips for herbicide handling included the use of chemical resistant aprons and gloves, washing of hands before putting gloves on, frequent washing of gloves, and wearing proper clothing to avoid skin contamination.
Personal-protective-equipment; Agricultural-workers; Hand-protection; Occupational-exposure; Work-practices; Protective-clothing; Skin-exposure; Herbicides
Journal Article; Lay Publication
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division