Dermal Absorption of Pesticide Residues

James Clarke, Sarah Cordery, Neil A. Morgan, Peter Knowles, Richard Guy

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Current guidance for dermal exposure assessment of plant protection products typically uses in vitro skin penetration data for the active ingredient when applied as both the concentrated product and relevant spray dilutions thereof. However, typical re-entry scenarios involve potential skin exposure to a "dried residue" of the spray dilution, from which the absorption of a pesticide may be quite different. The research reported in this paper has shown: (1) The method to assess the transfer of dried pesticide residues from a surface to the skin is reproducible for four active ingredients of diverse physicochemical properties, after their application in commercially relevant formulations. (2) Skin absorption of all four pesticides examined was significantly less from a dried residue than from a spray dilution; the difference, in general, was of the order of a factor of 2. (3) Decontamination experiments with one of the active ingredients tested (trinexapac-ethyl) showed that, post-exposure to a spray dilution, skin surface cleaning must be performed within 1 h to significantly reduce potential systemic exposure (relative to continual contact for 24 h); in contrast, after contact with a dried residue, the sooner decontamination was performed, the greater the decrease in exposure achieved, even when the time of contact was as long as 8 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1356-1363
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number12
Early online date23 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018


  • dermal absorption
  • pesticide
  • risk assessment
  • re-entry
  • residue


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