Chemical exposure in manufacture of phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols and in spraying of phenoxy herbicides

Am J Ind Med. 1993 Jun;23(6):903-20. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700230607.


Exposure patterns are reported for manufacturing and sprayer cohorts incorporated in the "IARC International Register of Workers exposed to Phenoxy Herbicides and Contaminants." Information was based on company questionnaires, company reports, plant visits, and serum 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD measurements. In addition to phenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols, workers in manufacturing plants may have been exposed to raw materials, process chemicals, other agents synthesized or formulated, and impurities of all these agents. Sprayers also had a complex exposure pattern, including phenoxy herbicides and some other pesticides, their carriers and additives, and residues of chemicals formed during manufacture. Occurrence of agents, including dioxins, varied between countries. Biological monitoring and industrial hygiene data were rarely available, most since the late 1970s. Exposure of workers depended mainly on the jobs they performed, but several factors influenced level of exposure. A quantitative exposure classification is not feasible in this study. Semiquantitative exposure estimates may be derived through a critical interpretation of biological monitoring and industrial hygiene data together with individual work histories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 2-Methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic Acid / analysis
  • Agriculture
  • Chemical Industry*
  • Chlorophenols / analysis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Forestry
  • Herbicides / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*


  • Chlorophenols
  • Herbicides
  • 2-Methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic Acid