Protective gloves use and work habits of non-professionals handling agricultural pesticides – a survey

Jarmila Hojerová 1 , Martina Beránková 1 , Zuzana Peráčková 1 , and Simona Birbičová 1
  • 1 Institute of Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Abstract

As many chemicals, also agricultural pesticides (APs) can be hazardous if not used safely. Under typical working conditions, the majority of exposure to the APs is through the hand-skin. Wearing appropriate gloves should be a standard practice when handling the APs. Unlike professionals, amateurs applying the APs in their gardens or vineyards are not trained for the workplace hygiene. In this survey conducted in the spring 2015 across the Slovak Republic, practices regarding the use of protective gloves were obtained. 520 copies of the “paper-and-pencil” questionnaire were distributed to amateur users and specialized stores selling the APs (return rate of 59 %). A set of ten questions a “closed-ended” or “multiple-choice” type was offered. 75 % of respondents wear gloves when handling the APs. Regrettably, among users wearing gloves, 58 % use the same disposable gloves repeatedly, 67 % wear the reusable gloves from last season, and 53 % do not wash outside of the reusable gloves with detergent before removing them. 30 % of glove users wear all available gloves including absolutely inappropriate materials like fabric and leather, 28 % do not recognize the glove material which they use, 20 % use disposable Latex and 3 % Vinyl and Polyethylene gloves. Only 19 % of glove users wear a material that is generally considered a good choice for handling the APs (7 % Neoprene & Latex, 5 % Neoprene, 5 % Nitrile, and 2 % Butyl rubber). The survey showed the need for better education about adequate protective gloves not only for amateur users but also for retailers selling the APs and protective equipment.

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