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Chester, 1993

Chester, G.; “Evaluation of agricultural worker exposure to, and absorption of, pesticides;” Annals of Occupational Hygeine, 1993, 37(5), 509-523; DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/37.5.509.


The evaluation of the occupational exposure of agricultural workers to pesticides is an integral part of the risk assessment for product safety and regulatory purposes. At present, there is no internationally accepted, harmonized approach to this exposure evaluation. This paper reviews the currently available methods for the measurement of exposure to, and absorption of, pesticides by workers involved in their use and in associated agricultural activities. Biological monitoring is recommended as the most precise means of estimating the absorbed dose of a pesticide, particularly if supported by human metabolism and pharmacokinetic data. A ‘whole-body’ sampling method is recommended for the measurement of dermal exposure. For concurrent exposure and biological monitoring a refined ‘whole-body’ method is recommended which involves the use of clothing representing that which workers normally wear under the prevailing conditions. A personal air sampling method is recommended for the measurement of inhalation exposure, to collect the ‘inspirable’ fraction (and/or, where necessary, vapour component) of pesticide. These ambient exposure monitoring methods may be conducted simultaneously with biological monitoring. Guidelines are proposed for the conduct of field studies to evaluate exposure to, and absorption of, pesticides to satisfy the requirements of regulatory authority and other organization

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