Potential dermal pesticide exposure affected by greenhouse spray application technique

David Nuyttens, Pascal Braekman, Stijn Windey, Bart Sonck

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


Operator safety is still one of the main problems concerning greenhouse spray applications in South European horticulture. The main objective of this study was to compare potential dermal exposure (PDE) between traditional handheld spray application techniques (i.e. a standard spray gun walking forwards, a spray lance walking forwards and backwards) and novel spray application techniques with spray booms (i.e. a trolley, the Fumimatic and the Fumicar).
PDE varied from 19.7 ml h-1 for the Fumimatic up to 460 ml h-1 for the spray lance walking forwards. Walking backwards reduced PDE by a factor 7. With the trolley, Fumimatic and Fumicar, PDE was respectively 20, 60 and 8 times lower compared with the standard spray gun. With the spray lance, PDE was about 2.5 times higher than with the spray gun. Pesticide distribution over the operator’s body was non-uniform and correlated strongly with the application technique. With the traditional techniques, exposure to the legs and feet represents 60 to 80% of the total exposure.
Novel spray application techniques using spray booms greatly decrease operator exposure because the operator is not walking directly into the spray cloud and the sprayed crop and because of their higher capacity. Depending on the type of spray application, other parts of the body need to be protected most.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)781-90
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Potential dermal pesticide exposure affected by greenhouse spray application technique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this