Pesticides Exposure: The Case of Workers on Growing Grapes in San Francisco Valley, Petrolina/Brazil


The objective of this work is to analyze the systems of application of pesticides used in harvesting grapes of the sub-medium San Francisco valley, in relation to the risks of occupational contamination. The manual, mechanized and semi mechanized systems of application, adopted by the grape growers of the city of Petrolina/PE, have been analyzed through a method of both quantitative and qualitative evaluation. In such a way, two production units were visited: a mid-sized company and another one from of the CODEVASF. Five simulations were carried out in four systems of pesticide application using the European entire body method. Pre-application processes, such as storage and dilution of pesticides, as well as post-application processes, including equipment maintenance, cleaning and storage of clothes used for the application process were also analyzed. The results show large differences in risk among the systems that were analyzed and better conditions offered by the agricultural company, which was seeking to obtain the certification process.

Share and Cite:

Pinheiro, F. and Adissi, P. (2014) Pesticides Exposure: The Case of Workers on Growing Grapes in San Francisco Valley, Petrolina/Brazil. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 805-812. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.510085.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] CODEVASF (2002) Programa de Fruticultura: Relatório de Fases Produtivas.
[2] Fenske, R.A., Simcox, N.J., Camp, J.E. and Hines, C.J. (1999) Comparison of Three Methods for Assessment of Hand Exposure to Azinphos-Methyl (Guthion) during Apple Thinning. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 14, 618-623.
[3] Van Hemmen, J.J. and Brouwer, D.H. (1995) Assessment of Dermal Exposure to Chemicals. Science of the Total Environment, 168, 131-141.
[4] Chester, G., Dick, J., Loftus, N.J., Woollen, B.H. and Anema, B.H. (1990) The Effectiveness of Protective Gloves in Reducing Dermal Exposure to, and Absorption of, the Herbicide Fluazifop-p-Butyl by Mixer-Loader-Applicators Using Tractor Sprayers. Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry, Vol. III, IUPAC.
[5] Abbott, I.M., Bonsall, J.L., Chester, G., Hart, T.B. and Turnbull, G.J. (1987) Worker Exposure to a Herbicide Applied with Ground Sprayers in the United Kingdom. American Industrial Hygiene Association, 48, 167-175.
[6] Durham, W.F. and Wolfe, H.T. (1962) Measurement of the Exposure of Workers to Pesticides. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 26, 75-91.
[7] OECD (1997) Guidance Document for the Conduct of Studies of Occupational Exposure to Pesticides during Agricultural Application. Series on Testing and Assessment, No. 9, OECD/GD, Paris.
[8] Adissi, P.J., Menezes Melo, L.C. and Resende, S.R. (2001) Análise da aplicação manual de agrotóxicos em fruticultura. 53a REUNIÃO ANUAL DA SBPC, UFBA, Salvador.
[9] Machera, K., et al. (2003) Determination of Potential Dermal and Inhalation Operator Exposure to Malathion in Greenhouses with the Whole Body Dosimetry Method. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 47, 61-70.
[10] Glass, R. (2000) Exposure of Agricultural Workers to Pesticides in Southern Europe. Proceedings of Seminário Internacional sobre uso de Agrotóxicos, João Pessoa, Brasil.
[11] Machado Neto, J.G. (1997) Estimativas do tempo de trabalho seguro e da necessidade de controle da exposição ocupacional dos aplicadores de agrotóxicos. Ph.D. Dissertation, FCAV/UNESP, Jaboticabal.
[12] Machado Neto, J.G. (2001) Determination of Safe Work Time and Exposure Control Need for Pesticide Applicators. Bulletin of Environmental and Toxicology, 67, 20-26.
[13] US Environmental Protection Agency-EPA (2009) Azoxystrobin; Pesticide Tolerances for Emergency. EPA, Washington DC.
[14] US Environmental Protection Agency-EPA (2010) Safety of Bacillus thuringiensis Proteins Used to Control Insect Pest in Agricultural Crops.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.