Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Highlights Importance of Worker Skin Exposure to Pesticides and Limitations of Measurement Methods

24.11.2004


Agricultural pesticide workers are not only exposed to pesticides from inhalation, but also through their skin. The dermal route of exposure to chlorpyrifos, a common agricultural pesticide, contributes substantially to workers’ total exposure, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who analyzed agricultural test data provided by pesticide manufacturers. The study authors report that accurate methods for estimating dermal exposure are important because they form the basis for assessing and protecting worker health. The study is published in the current online issue of Annals of Occupational Hygiene.



“Although our study’s findings aren’t unexpected, they highlight the significance of dermal exposure among pesticide workers,” said Laura Geer, the study’s lead author and a PhD student in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Geer explained that the EPA requires pesticide manufacturers to evaluate the potential for exposure to pesticide handlers. “Since there is a paucity of such data in the literature, we sought to mine these data. Our study demonstrates their utility and value to answer questions fundamental to dermal exposure and to protecting worker health,” she said. “For example, from these data, we were able to estimate the fraction of pesticide absorbed through the skin based on real-world agricultural worker monitoring.”


The authors analyzed data from five studies, including a total of 80 workers across nine states (Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida and Ohio). The participants held a variety of pesticide-related jobs, including preparing pesticide formulations, loading the pesticide into application devices, applying the pesticide and inspecting crops after application.

The researchers found that dermal exposure represents a substantial portion of total exposure, even though exposure levels were found below current occupational health standards and guidelines. For nearly one-half of the workers monitored (34 out of 77) in this study, more chlorpyrifos was absorbed through the skin than was inhaled. The researchers compared methods for estimating worker exposure by comparing residues found on clothing to levels of pesticide metabolites in urine. They observed a substantial difference, indicating that researchers may not be able to precisely evaluate worker exposure using these methods.

This difference in estimates makes it difficult for researchers to reconcile exposure and dose, increasing the uncertainty in assessing worker risk and the development of effective protective strategies. The study authors recommend that additional work and research be done. The authors also note that their study demonstrates that the EPA’s Pesticide Registrant Database offers a unique and valuable resource to researchers for the purpose of improving methods for assessing exposure and protecting worker health.

“Worker dermal exposure is under-appreciated in the United States. Our study brings to the forefront the potential for workplace chemicals to be absorbed through the skin and the need to develop better methods to assess this exposure, so that ultimately we can prevent it and protect worker health,” said Timothy J. Buckley, PhD, MHS, associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the study’s senior author.

The study was supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

L.A. Geer, N. Cardello, J. D. Roberts and T. J. Buckley, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-authored the study. Additional co-authors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were M. J. Dellarco, T.J. Leighton and R.P. Zendzian.

Kenna L. Lowe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>