Personal exposures to inorganic and organic dust in manual harvest of California citrus and table grapes

Kiyoung Lee, Robert J. Lawson, Stephen A. Olenchock, Val Vallyathan, Randal J. Southard, Peter S. Thorne, Cathy Saiki, Marc B Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine characteristics of personal exposure to inorganic and organic dust during manual harvest operations of California citrus and table grapes. Personal exposures to inhalable dust and respirable dust were measured five times over a 4-month period of harvesting season. We analyzed components of the dust samples for mineralogy, respirable quartz, endotoxin, and total and culturable microorganisms. Workers manually harvesting were exposed to a complex mixture of inorganic and organic dust. Exposures for citrus harvest had geometric means of 39.7 mg/m3 for inhalable dust and 1.14 mg/m3 for respirable dust. These exposures were significantly higher than those for table grape operations and exceeded the threshold limit value for inhalable dust and respirable quartz. Exposures for table grape operations were lower than the threshold limit value, except inhalable dust exposure during leaf pulling. Considered independently, exposures to inhalable dust and respirable quartz in citrus harvest may be high enough to cause respiratory health effects. The degree of vigorous contact with foliage appeared to be a significant determining factor of exposures in manual harvesting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume1
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Agricultural dust
  • Bioaerosols
  • Endotoxin
  • Harvest
  • Inorganic dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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