Assessment of respiratory exposure to cypermethrin among farmers and farm workers of Shiraz, Iran


Cypermethrin, a member of the synthetic pyrethroids group, is a popular insecticide used to eliminate a broad range of common bugs in agricultural lands and households. However, studies of farmers’ exposure to this insecticide are limited. The present study aimed to measure the respiratory exposure to cypermethrin among farmers and farm workers of Shiraz, as one of the biggest cities in Fars province, Iran. Totally, nine target regions were selected, where 42 individual samples were taken using XAD-2 sorbents and were analyzed by gas chromatography-electron capture detector (GC-ECD). This is the first study on farmers’ exposure to insecticides during spraying in Iran. The average concentration of cypermethrin vapor in farmers’ respiratory area during spraying was 0.982 ± 0.421 mg/m3, which was lower than the permitted threshold value for cypermethrin recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The mean time-weighted average (TWA) was also evaluated in two distinct occupational groups (tree operators and field operators). The exposure was significantly higher in tree operators than in field operators. A direct correlation was also found between the height of the workers and the amount of cypermethrin (Spearman’s r = 0.555). Findings support that farm workers’ respiratory exposure to cypermethrin was within the permissible range, but this situation cannot guarantee workers’ safety. Total respiratory exposure and skin exposure studies are recommended in future research.

Authors: Farnaz Behnami, Saeed Yousefinejad, Saeed Jafari, Masoud Neghab, Esmaeel Soleimani
; Full Source: Environmental monitoring and assessment 2021 Mar 13;193(4):187. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-08964-9.