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Pest Manag Sci. 2002 Aug;58(8):784-90.

Assessment of relevant factors and relationships concerning human dermal exposure to pesticides in greenhouse applications.

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Department of Hydrogeology and Analytical Chemistry, University of Almería, 04071 Almería, Spain.


Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the gas chromatographic data obtained from 23 different greenhouse trials. This was used to establish which factors, including application technique (very small, small, medium and large drop-size), crop characteristics (short/tall, thin/dense) and pattern application of the operator (walking towards or away from the treated area) are relevant to the dermal exposure levels of greenhouse applicators. The results showed that the highest exposure by pesticides during field applications in greenhouses, in the climatic conditions and in the crop conditions typical of a southern European country, occurs on the lower legs and front thighs of the applicators. Similar results were obtained by hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). Drop-size seems to be very important in determining total exposure, while height and density of crops have little influence on total exposure under the conditions of the present study. No pesticide type is a major factor in total exposure. The application of multiple regression analysis (MRA) allowed assessment of the relationships between the pesticide exposure of the less affected parts of the body with the most affected parts.

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