Personal air sampling and risks of inhalation exposure during atrazine application in Honduras.
Lozier-MJ; Montoya-JFL; del Rosario-A; Martínez-EP; Fuortes-L; Cook-TM; Sanderson-WT
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2013 May; 86(4):479-488
PURPOSE: To assess occupational inhalation exposure to the herbicide atrazine during pesticide application in a developing country. METHODS: Personal air samples were collected during atrazine application using a personal sampling pump equipped with an OSHA Versatile Sampler (OVS-2) sorbent tube. Samples were collected from 24 pesticide applicators in Honduras. Application was observed during sampling, and a survey was completed in the home. RESULTS: Fourteen of the 24 participants used pump backpack sprayers to apply atrazine and 10 used tractor/boom systems. Despite applying about 15 times as much atrazine, the tractor/boom participants (11.5 µg/m(3)) had only slightly higher (not statistically significant) time-weighted averages (TWA) than participants using backpack sprayers (9.6 µg/m(3)). Within the backpack sprayer group, those that used a cone spray nozzle (11.54 µg/m(3)) had nearly double the TWA than applicators using a flat spray nozzle (5.98 µg/m(3); P = 0.04). In the tractor/boom group, the participants that rode on the boom or the back of the tractor monitoring nozzles (15.0 µg/m(3)) had almost double the average TWA than tractor drivers (8.0 µg/m(3); P = 0.097). CONCLUSIONS: Since tractor/boom pesticide application decreases the number of man-hours required to apply pesticides, and does not increase inhalation exposure significantly, it decreases the overall population occupational exposure. Monitoring nozzles on booms from a distance rather than on the back of a tractor or boom may decrease or eliminate inhalation exposure. Use of flat spray nozzles for herbicide application among pump backpack sprayers may reduce their inhalation exposure.
Humans; Men; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Herbicides; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Pollutants; Demographic-characteristics; Air-samples; Sampling; Age-groups; Questionnaires; Spraying-equipment;
Author Keywords: Pesticide exposure; Honduras; Central America; Herbicide; Inhalation exposure; Atrazine; Pesticide exposure assessment
M. J. Lozier, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, UI Research Park, 102 IREH, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
University of Iowa