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Assessment of dermal and inhalation exposure to zineb/maneb in the cultivation of flower bulbs

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Author: Brouwer, D.H. · Brouwer, E.J. · Hemmen, J.J. van
Institution: Medisch Biologisch Laboratorium TNO
Source:Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 4, 36, 373-384
Identifier: 231920
Keywords: Biology · Dermatitis · Health risks · Occupational diseases · Pesticide effects · Pesticides · Pulmonary diseases · Skin · Carbamates · Dermal absorption · Exposure limts · Maneb · Occupational hygiene · Toxic substances · Occupational risks · Fungicide · Agricultural worker · Disinfection · Glove · Inhalation · Occupational exposure · Protective clothing · Work environment · Aspiration · Human · Plants · Maneb, 12427-38-2 · Zineb, 12122-67-7 · Air Pollutants, Occupational


In bulb farming the use of pesticides for crop protection and bulb disinfection is extensive. To estimate long-term occupational exposure to pesticides, generic levels of exposure specific to the method of working were needed. In order to derive these values, dermal and inhalation exposure was the fungicide mixture zineb/maneb was assessed for different methods of mixing and loading a wettable powder formulation. Further, dermal exposure was also assessed for two methods of disinfection of bulbs. Observed exposure was expressed in terms of method-specific levels of exposure, which makes it possible to compare exposure resulting from different methods of working, with respect to the amount of pesticide handled, or whether ladling the pesticide with a scoop or dipping the bulbs using baskets resulted in high exposure. Moreover, the relative importance of dermal and inhalation exposure routes was estimated. The results show that during mixing and loading with bare hands dermal exposure is by far the greater contributor (>99%) to the total estimated exposure. Comparing these results and also some preliminary results of the dermal protection provided by working gloves, with tentative health-based limit values of exposure, emphasize the need for a programme on appropriate dermal protection.