Mäkinen, M., Tervo, L., Tuomanen, A. and Kangas, J. 2006. Triadimefon in Forestry Nurseries: Operator Exposure and the Efectiveness of Spraying Methods. Baltic Forestry, 12 (1): 46-50

Concentrations of triadimefon fungicide in breathing zone and on the skin were measured in order to assess the exposure of an operator treating birch seedlings with hand–held equipment in a Finnish forestry nursery. The actual exposure was found to be low, only 10 % of the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL). When exposure was assessed using the results of potential exposure measurements,when the samplers are attached on the top of the protective clothing, the acceptable level was, however, exceeded by 850 %. Hands were the main route of exposure. Simultaneously, the effectiveness of four different spraying methods was studied by analysing the amount of triadimefon residue on leaf samples for 20 days after spraying. A hand–held sprayer has traditionally been considered to be the most effective method available for spraying fungicides. In this study, some new, safer and more economical methods of spraying were compared to hand–held application. After the test period of 20 days, the highest concentration of residue was measured on birch leaves collected from an area treated with conventional hand–held equipment. Nonetheless, the new methods are safer to the operator and probably friendlier to the environment due to less leaching of the pesticide.

Key words: Triadimefon, forestry nurseries, operator exposure, occupational safety, plant protection