Potential operator dermal exposure during foliar indoor application: a comparison between knapsack, trolley sprayer and lance equipment

  • Thierry MercierEmail author
  • Claudia Großkopf
  • Sabine Martin
Research Article


In accordance with the risk assessments required in the framework of Regulation (EC) no. 1107/2009, operator exposure must be determined taking into account the material and the conditions of use. However, the existing European Union harmonised predictive model (EFSA in EFSA J 12(10):3874,, 2014) has shortcomings, especially the lack of operator exposure data during applications in greenhouses. The aim of this study, performed in France, was to measure levels of operator dermal exposure in greenhouses where knapsack or trolley sprayers are used, and to evaluate the protection provided by dermal personal protective equipment under field conditions. The potential dermal exposure on the body and head excluding the hands, and on the hands ranged from 936 to 14,052 µg/day, and from 173 to 1762 µg/day, respectively. The transfer factors provided by the personal protective equipment (certified coverall and gloves) were low, 2.3% and 0.8% (75th percentile), respectively. When exposure levels measured during the spraying phase of the experimental exposure study were compared to those calculated using the new greenhouse model (Project Report, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Berlin,, Accessed 26 June 2018, 2015), the model prediction using the dense culture scenario for potential body and head exposures fits well with the levels of exposure measured in the experimental study. The results of this experimental greenhouse exposure study could be used to increase the robustness of operator exposure estimates provided by the Greenhouse Agricultural Operator Exposure Model (Project report-BfR 2015) in the context of pesticide applications in greenhouses.


Operator exposure Greenhouse Knapsack sprayer Trolley sprayer Personal protective equipment 



The authors would like to thank I. Thouvenin from HUMEXPO acting as study director of the field study, C. H. Roussel from STAPHYT for his key support as field principal investigator, and Eurofins Agroscience Services Chem SAS, which took care of all the specimen analyses.


ANSES - French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regulated Products Assessment DepartmentFrench Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES)Maisons-AlfortFrance
  2. 2.German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)BerlinGermany

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