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Operator dermal exposure and individual protection provided by personal protective equipment during application using a backpack sprayer in vineyards


According to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, the safety of the operator concerning plant protection products (PPP) must be evaluated. The levels of operator exposure with use of certified personal protective equipment can be estimated using a model or experimental exposure data. However, the existing models have shortcomings, especially the lack of operator exposure data during upward applications using a backpack sprayer. The aim of this study was to monitor the dermal exposure of operators using backpack motorised mist-blower power sprayers for application of fungicides in vineyards. The measured actual dermal exposure levels ranged from 49.3 mg/kg a.s. (active substance) applied (75th percentile) to 89.2 mg/kg a.s. applied (95th percentile), and were lower than those estimated with the European Food Safety Authority model (5–2 %, respectively). The transfer factors provided by the personal protective equipment (coverall and gloves) were low, 1.7 and 2.4 % (75th percentile) and 5.1 and 8.6 % (95th percentile) respectively.

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The authors would like to thank STAPHYT acting as the test facility for the study, C.H. Roussel for his key support as field principal investigator and Eurofins Agroscience Services Chem SAS which took care of all the specimen analyses and Institut Français du Textile et de l’Habillement, Ecully, France for performing the permeation tests.

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Correspondence to Thierry Mercier.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Thouvenin, I., Bouneb, F. & Mercier, T. Operator dermal exposure and individual protection provided by personal protective equipment during application using a backpack sprayer in vineyards. J. Verbr. Lebensm. 11, 325–336 (2016).

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  • Backpack sprayer
  • Pesticide
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Operator
  • Vineyard