Assessment of potential dermal and inhalation exposure of workers to the insecticide imidacloprid using whole-body dosimetry in China

Lidong Cao , Bo Chen , Li Zheng , Dongwei Wang , Feng Liu , Qiliang Huang


Received February 24, 2014,Revised July 21, 2014, Accepted , Available online January 19, 2015

Volume 27,2015,Pages 139-146

In China, although improvements to the pesticide registration process have beenmade in last thirty years, no occupational exposure data are required to obtain a commercial license for a pesticide product. Consequently, notably little research has been conducted to establish an exposure assessment procedure in China. The present study monitored the potential dermal operator exposure from knapsack electric sprayer wheat field application of imidacloprid in Liaocheng City, Shandong Province and in Xinxiang City, Henan Province, China, using whole-body dosimetry. The potential inhalation exposure was determined using a personal air pump and XAD-2 sample tubes. The analytical method was developed and validated, including such performance parameters as limits of detection and quantification, linear range, recovery and precision. The total potential dermal and inhalation exposures were 14.20, 16.80, 15.39 and 20.78 mL/hr, respectively, for the four operators in Liaocheng and Xinxiang, corresponding to 0.02% to 0.03% of the applied volume of spray solution. In all trials, the lower part (thigh, lower leg) of the body was the most contaminated, accounting for approximately 76% to 88% of the total exposure. The inhalation exposure was less than 1% of the total exposure. Such factors as the application pattern, crop type, spray equipment, operator experience and climatic conditions have been used to explain the exposure distribution over the different parts of the body. As indicated by the calculated Margin of Exposure, the typical wheat treatment scenarios when a backpack sprayer was used are considered to be safe in terms of imidacloprid exposure.

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