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 Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>