Cutaneous exposure to pesticides during the sale of cut flowers and ornamental plants

Edoardo Lembo, Andrea Bonacci, Liana Lunghini, Maria Cristina Aprea


The exchange of flowers and ornamental plants among all the countries of the world gives rise to the need to evaluate the presence of pesticides in the work environment of florists and the exposure of sales staff. This survey was carried out selecting 11 shops on the territory of the province of Siena (Tuscany, Italy). Wipe test on sales surfaces (23 samples), and hands washing of the sales staff (23 samples ) was carried out. Of the 108 determined active substances, including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides of different chemical classes, 39 have been quantified: in hand washing, the highest levels were found for two insecticides, metidathion (92.4 μg) and tetradifon (67,9 μg); for the wipe tests, the maximum levels were found for three insecticides, tetramethrin (7.52 μg/cm2), permethrin (6.68 μg/cm2) and metidathion (4.74 μg/cm2). This survey allows laying the foundations for further studies to be performed on a larger series. The surfaces of points of sale can be a source of exposure, so it is recommended that daily cleaning operations are performed with the aim of reducing the accumulation of pesticides.


flowers supply chain, surface contamination, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides

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