The pesticide contamination of private cars used in the workplace, as one of the possible sources of exposure for the families of agricultural workers


  • Sara Pastorelli Tecnico della Prevenzione nell’Ambiente e nei Luoghi di Lavoro
  • Andrea Bonacci U.O.C. Professioni Sanitarie della Prevenzione, Azienda USL Toscana Sud Est, Regione Toscana
  • Liana Lunghini Laboratorio di Sanità Pubblica Area Vasta Sud Est, Azienda USL Toscana Sud Est, Regione Toscana
  • Maria Cristina Aprea Laboratorio di Sanità Pubblica Area Vasta Sud Est, Azienda USL Toscana Sud Est, Regione Toscana



wipe test, metalaxyl, myclobutanil, tebuconazole, quinoxifen


The primary purpose of this survey was to verify if there were residues of pesticides used in treatments on vineyards on the surfaces inside the cars of agricultural workers. To this end, four tracers (Metalaxyl, Miclobutanil, Tebuconazole and Quinoxyfen) have been determined in 127 wipe tests performed on steering wheel, gear, dashboard, mat and trunk of 10 different cars in three different periods: in the absence of treatments (month of April), after about a week from the beginning of the treatments (June) and coinciding with the end of the treatments (July). The percentage of samples without any contamination was 52%, while the samples in which one, two or three active substances were quantifiable were 28%, 17% and 2.4% respectively. Contamination is almost equally distributed over the various sampled surfaces. The results obtained show that the problem is current: all the operators show to transfer pesticides on the surfaces of their cars, with the possibility of inducing a para-occupational exposure. This evidence must be appropriately corrected with targeted interventions.


Curwin, B.D., Hein, M.J., Sanderson, W.T., Nishioka, M.G., Reynolds, S.J., Ward, E.M., Alavanja, M.C., 2005. Pesticide contamination inside farm and non farm homes. J Occup Envirom Hyg 2(7), 357-367.

Deziel, N.C., Friesen, M.C., Hoppin, J.A., Hines, C.J., Thomas, K., Freeman, L.E., 2015. A Review of nonoccupational pathways for pesticide exposure in women living in agricultural areas. Environ Health Perspect 123(6), 515-524.

Lewis, R.G., 1989. Human exposure to pesticides used in and around the household. In: The effect of pesticides on human health (Baker S.R., Wilkinson C.F., eds). Princeton NJ: Princeton Scientific Publishing.

Simcox, N.J., Fenske, R.A., Wolz, S.A., Lee, I.C., Kalman, D.A., 1995. Pesticides in household dust and soil: exposure pathways for children of agricultural families. Environ Health Perspect 103(12), 1126-1134.