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Lesmes-Fabian, Camilo; Binder, Claudia R. (April 2013): Pesticide Flow Analysis to Assess Human Exposure in Greenhouse Flower Production in Colombia. In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 10, Nr. 4: S. 1168-1185




Human exposure assessment tools represent a means for understanding human exposure to pesticides in agricultural activities and managing possible health risks. This paper presents a pesticide flow analysis modeling approach developed to assess human exposure to pesticide use in greenhouse flower crops in Colombia, focusing on dermal and inhalation exposure. This approach is based on the material flow analysis methodology. The transfer coefficients were obtained using the whole body dosimetry method for dermal exposure and the button personal inhalable aerosol sampler for inhalation exposure, using the tracer uranine as a pesticide surrogate. The case study was a greenhouse rose farm in the Bogota Plateau in Colombia. The approach was applied to estimate the exposure to pesticides such as mancozeb, carbendazim, propamocarb hydrochloride, fosetyl, carboxin, thiram, dimethomorph and mandipropamide. We found dermal absorption estimations close to the AOEL reference values for the pesticides carbendazim, mancozeb, thiram and mandipropamide during the study period. In addition, high values of dermal exposure were found on the forearms, hands, chest and legs of study participants, indicating weaknesses in the overlapping areas of the personal protective equipment parts. These results show how the material flow analysis methodology can be applied in the field of human exposure for early recognition of the dispersion of pesticides and support the development of measures to improve operational safety during pesticide management. Furthermore, the model makes it possible to identify the status quo of the health risk faced by workers in the study area.