Greenhouses are environments where pest control is complicated by the virtually year-round culture of crops and by continuous heating during cold periods. These conditions provide excellent opportunities for the survival and development of a pest or disease once it has invaded the greenhouse, so the spray frequencies are very high. Unfortunately, the enclosed conditions expose greenhouse workers to levels of plant protection products higher than general agricultural workers. This paper reports the results of a research carried out in two Sicilian tomato greenhouses, aimed at measuring the operator contamination during pesticide application by means of handheld high pressure spray lances. The research investigates the effects of both plants growth (first florescence and end of production) and walking operator direction (forward, as usually in the area object of study, and backwards). The results show that, performing treatments walking forward, gives rise to higher operator contamination in both phenological stages: about 4.1 times before production and up to 8.6 times when the plants are fully developed. Delivering 1500 L/ha at end of production, the operator' body collects some 335 ml of mixture per hour of work walking forward and some 39 ml walking backwards, while, delivering 1000 L/ha at first florescence, the corresponding values are 126 ml and 31 ml. The lower limbs (legs and feet) are always (in both phenological stages and with both walking directions) the body parts more exposed, accounting for between 52% and 84% of the total operator contamination.
|Titolo:||Operator contamination during pesticide application in tomato greenhouses|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|