Occupational exposure and risk assessment for agricultural workers of thiamethoxam in vineyards


Dermal & inhalation exposure was examined and according to these results, risk assessment of agricultural workers to thiamethoxam was performed during pesticide mixing/loading and hand-held sprayer application (11 replicates, each of about 1000 L of spray suspension) in vineyards. For the whole body dosimetry (WBD), clothing (Outer and inner), gauze, and nitrile gloves were analyzed to determine dermal exposure using whole-body dosimetry exposure protocol. The inhalation exposure was measured using a glass fiber filter with an IOM sampler. Analytical method validation of exposure matrices was evaluated including the field recovery and breakthrough test. The dermal exposure amount during mixing/loading was 0.163 mg (0.0004% of the total mixed/loaded active ingredient [a.i.]), whereas there was no inhalation exposure. The gloves (0.154 mg, 94.5%) were the most exposed body parts followed by the chest and stomach (0.009 mg, 5.5%). During application, the dermal and inhalation exposure amounts were 32.3 mg (0.07% of the total applied a.i.) and 10.8 µg (2.4 × 10-6% of the total applied a.i), respectively. The shin (35.1%) had the highest exposure to pesticides, followed by the chest & stomach (15.6%) and pelvis (12.6%). In case of mixing/loading, the amounts of actual dermal exposure (ADE) and actual inhalation exposure (AIE) were 0.0 and 0.0 μg/day, while those of ADE and AIE were 4707.6 and 15.8 μg/day for application. In risk assessment of the two different scenarios, the risk index was much lower than 1 (mixing/loading:0.000, application:0.014), indicating that vineyard workers are at low risk of thiamethoxam exposure. To determine the validity of the risk assessment using WBD method, the urinary metabolite was analyzed. Comparison of biomonitoring data and WBD exposure data show a reliable correlation (r = 0.885, p = 0.0003), suggesting that these are suitable methods to estimate exposure.

Authors: Jiho Lee, JiWoo Kim, Yongho Shin, Eunyoung Park, Junghak Lee, Young-Soo Keum, Jeong-Han Kim
; Full Source: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2022 Aug 24;243:113988. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113988.