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Exposure to biological fungicides, environmental microorganisms and oils in forestry harvesting

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New chemicals have been introduced into forestry harvesting during the past decade. In field experiments five harvesters and their operators were used to study exposure to biological fungicides, biodegradable oils and log colour-coding agents. Respiratory exposure to the biological fungicide Phlebiopsis gigantea , other basidiomycetes, environmental microorganisms and endotoxins was assessed using samples taken from the workers' breathing zone. Exposure to biological fungicide was also estimated by antibody determinations from serum samples. Dermal exposure to biodegradable oils and biological fungicides was studied using a fluorescent tracer method and digital photography. Dermal exposure to log colour-coding agents was observed visually. The field survey indicated that respiratory and dermal exposure to biological fungicides, log colour-coding agents and hydraulic and chainsaw oils was insignificant during normal harvester operations. Skin contamination may occur during maintenance work such as the sharpening of chains or the handling of hydraulic hoses.

Keywords: Biodegradable oil; butt rot antagonist; forestry harvesting; health effects

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health FI-70701 P.O. Box 93 Kuopio Finland

Publication date: 2004-02-01

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