Occupational exposures to pesticide products among amenity horticulturists

 Occupational exposures to pesticide products among amenity horticulturists

Alison Connolly1, Kate Jones2, Karen S. Galea3, Ioannis Basinas3, Laura Kenny2, Padraic McGowan4, Marie Coggins1

1Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, School of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway, H91 CF50, Ireland.

2Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), Harpur Hill, Buxton, SK17 9JN, UK.

3Centre for Human Exposure Science (CHES), Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Edinburgh, EH14 4AP, UK.

4Irish Commissioners for Public Works, Jonathon Swift Street, Trim, Co Meath, C15 NX36, Ireland.


This research project aims to investigate occupational exposure to pesticides among amenity horticulturalists applying pesticides as liquid aerosols. The use of pesticides and their potential adverse health effects is of public concern, which has become significantly more emphasised with the implementation of the European Union Directive 2009/128/EC on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. In 2015, a pilot occupational biomonitoring (BM) study was conducted and results suggest that there is potential for exposure, that warranted further investigation (post-task exposure concentrations GM (GSD) 0.66 (1.11) μg L-1 of glyphosate)[i]. The current study involves conducting a more comprehensive occupational biomonitoring study to evaluate total glyphosate exposure among amenity horticulturists using 24 hour (24 hr) BM sampling, to quantify total glyphosate uptake per task. To evaluate the contribution of the different exposure pathways from aerosol deposition and surface transfer, dermal and inadvertent ingestion samples will be collected concurrently with BM samples, using Ghost wipes. Preliminary results shows a statistical significant positive association between urinary pesticide concentrations and pesticide perioral concentrations as well as pesticides contamination on worker hands and pesticide concentrations.

[i] Connolly, A., Jones, K., Galea, K. S., Basinas, I., Kenny, L., McGowan, P. and Coggins, M. (2017) ‘Exposure assessment using human biomonitoring for glyphosate and fluroxypyr users in amenity horticulture’, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 220(6), 1064-1073.

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