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Dermal exposure assessment of pesticide use: The case of sprayers in potato farms in the Colombian highlands


Lesmes-Fabian, Camilo; García-Santos, Glenda; Leuenberger, Fanny; Nuyttens, David; Binder, Claudia R (2012). Dermal exposure assessment of pesticide use: The case of sprayers in potato farms in the Colombian highlands. Science of the Total Environment, 430:202-208.

Abstract

Quantifying dermal exposure to pesticides in farming systems in developing countries is of special interest for the estimation of potential health risks, especially when there is a lack of occupational hygiene regulations. In this paper we present the results of a dermal exposure assessment for the potato farming system in the highlands of Colombia, where farmers apply pesticides with hand pressure sprayers without any personal protective equipment. The fractioning of the pesticide, in terms of potential and actual dermal exposure, was determined via the whole-body dosimetry methodology, using the tracer uranine as pesticide surrogate, and luminescence spectrometry as analytical method. We assessed the three activities involved in pesticide management: preparation, application, and cleaning; analyzed three types of nozzles: one with a standard discharge and two modified by farmers to increase the discharge; and derived the protection factor given by work clothing. Our results suggest that to reduce the health risk, three aspects have to be considered: (i) avoiding the modification of nozzles, which affects the droplet size spectrum and increases the level of dermal exposure; (ii) using adequate work clothing made of thick fabrics, especially on the upper body parts; and (iii) cleaning properly the tank sprayer before the application activity.

Quantifying dermal exposure to pesticides in farming systems in developing countries is of special interest for the estimation of potential health risks, especially when there is a lack of occupational hygiene regulations. In this paper we present the results of a dermal exposure assessment for the potato farming system in the highlands of Colombia, where farmers apply pesticides with hand pressure sprayers without any personal protective equipment. The fractioning of the pesticide, in terms of potential and actual dermal exposure, was determined via the whole-body dosimetry methodology, using the tracer uranine as pesticide surrogate, and luminescence spectrometry as analytical method. We assessed the three activities involved in pesticide management: preparation, application, and cleaning; analyzed three types of nozzles: one with a standard discharge and two modified by farmers to increase the discharge; and derived the protection factor given by work clothing. Our results suggest that to reduce the health risk, three aspects have to be considered: (i) avoiding the modification of nozzles, which affects the droplet size spectrum and increases the level of dermal exposure; (ii) using adequate work clothing made of thick fabrics, especially on the upper body parts; and (iii) cleaning properly the tank sprayer before the application activity.

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12 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 16:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.04.019
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-66819

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