This study describes apple growers’ skin exposure while performing their main tasks related to mixing and spraying pesticides and their use of protective clothing. Based on a review of the literature, extensive field observations and repeated interviews with five growers, the researchers conducted a detailed analysis of exposure situations and factors that facilitate or interfere with the wearing of protective clothing.
One of the main findings is the importance of context when seeking to understand the use of protective clothing. Growers are exposed to pesticides in many microexposure situations, which seem to contribute to an underestimation of risk. Shortcomings in the availability of protective clothing also reduce how widely it is used to ensure skin protection, especially the absence of standards and certification, as well as difficult access to training and information on the choice of protective clothing according to whatever pesticide is being used.
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