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 The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>