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Dermal exposure of applicators to chlorpyrifos on rice farms in Ghana

Atabila, Albert, Phung, Dung Tri, Hogarh, Jonathan N., Osei-Fosu, Paul, Sadler, Ross, Connell, Des, Chu, Cordia
Chemosphere 2017 v.178 pp. 350-358
active ingredients, chlorpyrifos, dermal exposure, farms, hands, probability distribution, rice, washing, Ghana
Studies evaluating dermal exposure to pesticides among applicators in tropical countries have largely been conducted using the patch dosimetry and hand wiping/washing techniques. This study used the more accurate whole-body dosimetry technique to evaluate dermal exposure to chlorpyrifos among applicators on rice farms in Ghana. The exposure levels were plotted as Cumulative Probability Distribution (CPD). Total Dermal Exposure (TDE) of chlorpyrifos among the median exposed and the 5% highly exposed groups during a spray event were 24 mg and 48 mg, respectively. When these were converted as a percentage of the quantity of active ingredient applied (Unit Exposure, UE), UE values of 0.03% and 0.06% were found among the median exposed and the 5% highly exposed groups, respectively. Overall, the hands were the most contaminated anatomical regions of the applicators, both in terms of proportion of TDE (39%) and skin loading (13 μg/cm2). Also, the lower anatomical region was more contaminated (82% of TDE) compared to the upper anatomical region (18% of TDE). The levels of chlorpyrifos TDE among the applicators were found to be influenced by the quantity of insecticide applied and the height of the crops sprayed (p < 0.05). The pesticide UE data of the present study can be used to estimate the levels of dermal exposure under similar pesticide use scenarios among applicators. The findings of the present study suggest that protecting the hands and the lower anatomical regions with appropriate PPE may significantly reduce exposure among applicators.