Urinary glyphosate biomonitoring of sprayers in vegetable farm in Thailand

Hum Ecol Risk Assess. 2021;27(4):1019-1036. doi: 10.1080/10807039.2020.1797471. Epub 2020 Jul 30.


In Thailand, glyphosate is popular herbicide to control pests in the agricultural sector. This study aimed to measure glyphosate exposure concentrations through inhalation, dermal contact, and urinary glyphosate concentrations among 43 vegetable farmers spraying glyphosate in Bungphra Subdistrict, Phitsanulok Province. Four types of spraying equipment were used, manual pump backpack (n = 3), motorized spray backpack (n = 22), battery pump backpack (n = 16), and high pressure pump (n = 2). Breathing zone air samples were collected using glass fiber filters; dermal contact samples were collected using 100 cm2 cotton patches attached on 10 body locations and urine samples were collected at 3 time points: morning void urine the day before spraying, the end of spraying event, and the morning void urine the next day of spraying. The results showed that the geometric mean (GM; geometric standard deviation [GSD]) of breathing zone concentrations of glyphosate exposure were 9.37 (10.17) μg/m3. The GM (GSD) of total dermal patches exposure concentrations were 7.57 (0.01) mg/h. The legs, back, and arms were the most exposed body areas. The GM (GSD) of urinary glyphosate was found highest among vegetable farmers using manual backpack 46.90 (1.35) μg/g creatinine. Farmers should wear masks and boots to reduce glyphosate exposure by inhalation and dermal contact.

Keywords: biomonitoring; dermal and inhalation exposures; glyphosate; vegetable farmers.