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Farmer exposure to organic solvents during the maintenance and repair of farm machinery: a pilot study.
Bunn TL; Liu Y; Lee K; Robertson M; Yu L
Am J Ind Med 2009 Dec; 52(12):973-981
BACKGROUND: The maintenance/repair of farm machinery is a common farming activity. Dermal exposure to organic solvents has not been well documented. A pilot study was conducted to characterize exposure to organic solvents. METHODS: A survey questionnaire was administered to 31 Kentucky farmers in 2008. Dermal exposure assessment was conducted in 10 farmers while farmers performed farm machinery maintenance/repair tasks using a solvent sampling patch. Benzene, toluene, xylene, and n-hexane were analyzed. RESULTS: All four organic solvents were identified from the samples with toluene (<0.5-36,000 microg/patch) and xylene (15-5,700 microg/patch) at significantly higher levels. Twenty-six farmers reported the use of personal protective equipment <50% of their time repairing/maintaining farm machinery on the questionnaire; only two farmers wore gloves during the exposure assessment. CONCLUSIONS: Farmers routinely use solvent products for farm machinery maintenance/repair. Dermal exposure to organic solvents is a potential hazard. Further studies to characterize and evaluate exposure in larger samples of farmers are needed.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Farmers; Machine-operation; Organic-solvents; Questionnaires; Solvents; Author Keywords: farm machinery maintenance and repair; dermal exposure; organic solvents; personal protective equipment
Terry L. Bunn, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Waller Ave., Lexington, KY 40504
71-43-2; 108-88-3; 1330-20-7
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 8, 2020Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division