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Personal exposures to inorganic and organic dust in manual harvest of California citrus and table grapes.
Lee-K; Lawson-RJ; Olenchock-SA; Vallyathan-V; Southard-RJ; Thorne-PS; Saiki-C; Schenker-MB
J Occup Environ Hyg 2004 Aug; 1(8):505-514
The aim of this study was to determine characteristics of personal exposure to inorganic and organic dust during manual harvest operations of California citrus and table grapes. Personal exposures to inhalable dust and respirable dust were measured five times over a 4-month period of harvesting season. We analyzed components of the dust samples for mineralogy, respirable quartz, endotoxin, and total and culturable microorganisms. Workers manually harvesting were exposed to a complex mixture of inorganic and organic dust. Exposures for citrus harvest had geometric means of 39.7 mg/m3for inhalable dust and 1.14 mg/m3for respirable dust. These exposures were significantly higher than those for table grape operations and exceeded the threshold limit value for inhalable dust and respirable quartz. Exposures for table grape operations were lower than the threshold limit value, except inhalable dust exposure during leaf pulling. Considered independently, exposures to inhalable dust and respirable quartz in citrus harvest may be high enough to cause respiratory health effects. The degree of vigorous contact with foliage appeared to be a significant determining factor of exposures in manual harvesting.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-processes; Dusts; Dust-exposure; Organic-dusts; Respirable-dust; Particulates; Particulate-dust; Microorganisms; Farmers; Aerosols
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division