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Pre-emergent herbicide exposures among custom applicators.

Hines-C; Deddens-J; Tucker-S; Hornung-R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :66-67
Custom applicators intensively apply pre-emergent herbicides to corn and soybean fields each spring. The primary objective of this study was to characterize the exposure distributions of four preemergent herbicides - alachlor, atrazine, 2,4-D ethylhexyl ester (2,4-D EH), and metolachlor - among a group of applicators during the spring spray season. A secondary objective was to evaluate determinants of exposure and to estimate within- and between-worker variance components. Fifteen applicators were sampled using a systematic design that included spray and nonspray days, and multiple measurements (5-7) on each applicator. Air, patch, and handwash samples were collected on 89 applicator-days. Applicator-days were classified into three categories: target herbicide sprayed, nontarget herbicide sprayed, and no herbicide sprayed. A repeated measures analysis of variance was performed. For all exposure metrics, mean herbicide exposures were significantly higher on days when target herbicides were sprayed as compared with nonspray days; and for most metrics, mean exposures on target herbicide spray days were significantly higber than on nontarget herbicide spray days. Exposure to the hands was substantially higher than to other body parts. For 2,4-D EH only, mean exposures on nontarget herbicide spray days were significantly higher than on nonspray days. Wearing gloves significantly reduced hand exposure for all herbicides (four- to twenty-fold) on days the herbicides were sprayed; however, wearing gloves significantly increased atrazine hand exposure (nine-fold) on days that nonatrazine herbicides were sprayed, and similar nonsignificant increases were observed for metolachlor and 2,4-D EH, suggesting that the inside of gloves might have been contaminated with herbicides. Few of the other covariates tested were significant, and none consistently across all herbicides. For all exposure metrics, the within-worker variability (GSDW 2.1-5.9) was greater than the between-worker variability (GSDB 1.2-2.7), suggesting that day-to-day factors influence total variability more than individual work practices.
Herbicides; Pesticides; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Spraying-equipment; Agricultural-chemicals; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Food-processing; Foodstuff; Esters; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Measurement-equipment; Analytical-processes; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Gloves; Personal-protective-equipment; Environmental-exposure
15972-60-8; 1912-24-9; 51218-45-2; 1928-43-4
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division