Due to the limitations of the environmental monitoring in agriculture, and the potential advantages of biological monitoring, the identification of biological exposure limits for pesticide bio-monitoring is a timely and needed activity. We are therefore establishing algorithms to calculate some limits that take advantage of the availability, for most of the active ingredients of pesticides marketed in the EU, of the health-based limit “Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (AOEL)” and of an extensive toxicological information that often includes dermal absorption coefficients. The AOEL is the systemic dose of a pesticide that a worker can absorb during each working day without any long-term consequences for his health. However, the AOEL is expressed as a systemic dose, which is not directly comparable with measurable indicators. Therefore, the AOEL is mostly used in the pre-marketing risk assessment, when which the internal dose is calculated, rather than measured. This weakness hampers its preventive value for the routine monitoring of agricultural workers. In order to calculate provisional biological limits of pesticides from their AOELs, we collected, in real life scenarios of Northern Italy, pesticide metabolite measurements in 24-hour urine, along with data on skin contamination levels, measured through skin pads. A plot of urinary excretion of pesticide metabolite vs. personal exposure referred to the AOEL limit (individual risk assessment) allows to calculate a tentative value for an Equivalent Biological Exposure Limit (EBEL). With this approach, we obtained two proof-of-principle results on a herbicide (propanil, EBEL=1 mg 3,4-DCA/L 24-h urine) and on a fungicide (mancozeb, EBEL=117 microg ETU/L 24-h urine). The same approach allows foreseeing a provisional corresponding value for other related pesticides, based on the known use rates, absorption coefficients and respective AOELs, as demonstrated by a calculation that expands the EBEL limit as ETU to other dithiocarbamates. This pilot study demonstrates that this method can be adopted to calculate “Health-Based Biological Exposure Limits” for biological monitoring of pesticide workers, and, in perspective, to establish EBELs in the pre-marketing phase to become part of the information made available when a new active ingredient is marketed.

A prototype algorithm to calculate Health-based occupational exposure limits for a safe use3 of pesticides / C. Colosio, S. Mandic-Rajcevic, F.M. Rubino. - In: TOXICOLOGY LETTERS. - ISSN 0378-4274. - 238(2S):28(2015 Sep 15), pp. S04-2.S19-S04-2.S20. ((Intervento presentato al 51. convegno Eurotox 2015 tenutosi a Porto (Portugal) nel 2015 [10.1016/toxlet.2015.08.186].

A prototype algorithm to calculate Health-based occupational exposure limits for a safe use3 of pesticides

C. Colosio;S. Mandic-Rajcevic;F.M. Rubino
2015-09-15

Abstract

Due to the limitations of the environmental monitoring in agriculture, and the potential advantages of biological monitoring, the identification of biological exposure limits for pesticide bio-monitoring is a timely and needed activity. We are therefore establishing algorithms to calculate some limits that take advantage of the availability, for most of the active ingredients of pesticides marketed in the EU, of the health-based limit “Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (AOEL)” and of an extensive toxicological information that often includes dermal absorption coefficients. The AOEL is the systemic dose of a pesticide that a worker can absorb during each working day without any long-term consequences for his health. However, the AOEL is expressed as a systemic dose, which is not directly comparable with measurable indicators. Therefore, the AOEL is mostly used in the pre-marketing risk assessment, when which the internal dose is calculated, rather than measured. This weakness hampers its preventive value for the routine monitoring of agricultural workers. In order to calculate provisional biological limits of pesticides from their AOELs, we collected, in real life scenarios of Northern Italy, pesticide metabolite measurements in 24-hour urine, along with data on skin contamination levels, measured through skin pads. A plot of urinary excretion of pesticide metabolite vs. personal exposure referred to the AOEL limit (individual risk assessment) allows to calculate a tentative value for an Equivalent Biological Exposure Limit (EBEL). With this approach, we obtained two proof-of-principle results on a herbicide (propanil, EBEL=1 mg 3,4-DCA/L 24-h urine) and on a fungicide (mancozeb, EBEL=117 microg ETU/L 24-h urine). The same approach allows foreseeing a provisional corresponding value for other related pesticides, based on the known use rates, absorption coefficients and respective AOELs, as demonstrated by a calculation that expands the EBEL limit as ETU to other dithiocarbamates. This pilot study demonstrates that this method can be adopted to calculate “Health-Based Biological Exposure Limits” for biological monitoring of pesticide workers, and, in perspective, to establish EBELs in the pre-marketing phase to become part of the information made available when a new active ingredient is marketed.
Biological exposure limits; pesticides; health based.
Settore MED/44 - Medicina del Lavoro
15-set-2015
European Societies of Toxicology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/325984
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