Main research question/goal
The focus of this study is on the greenhouse worker who generally applies pesticides using spray lances and spray pistols. These techniques are both labour-intensive and unsafe because of the operator’s exposure to the spray cloud and the sprayed crop. To what degree could this exposure be reduced by using innovative application techniques? How can those new techniques contribute to increased work efficiency? This study compares the traditional handheld spray techniques with innovative spray boom systems.Research approach
We perform operator exposure measurements under field conditions in peppers and tomatoes in Almeria (Spain) in 2004 and in Crete (Greece) in 2006 using a patch sampling technique. Six spray application techniques are evaluated by different operators. These were a standard spray gun walking forwards, a spray lance walking forwards and backwards, and novel spray application techniques with spray booms (a trolley, the Fumimatic and the Fumicar). Relevance/Valorisation
Novel spray application techniques with spray booms greatly decrease operator exposure. The type of body protection required depends on the type of spray application. The obtained exposure data can be helpful in developing exposure models and databases for risk assessment and pesticide registration.