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EPA-Expo-Box (A Toolbox for Exposure Assessors)

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Pesticides

Routes

The relevant pathways of exposure to pesticides are dependent on the type of pesticide and its registered uses. Exposure to pesticides can occur from dermal contact. Exposure may also occur as a result of unintentional ingestion or inhalation. The Routes Tool Set of EPA-Expo-Box provides additional information and resources organized by route.

Route Example(s) for Pesticides
Dermal contact

Direct and indirect dermal contact exposure can occur through use of consumer products containing pesticides. Occupational activities can also result in dermal exposures.

  • Direct exposure can occur when receptors come into contact with pesticides in consumer products during use.
  • Direct occupational exposure can occur from mixing, loading, and applying pesticides.
  • Postapplication exposure to pesticide residues can occur when workers or consumers contact treated foliage (e.g., during weeding, harvesting) or surfaces.
  • Indirect exposure could occur when a nonuser comes into contact with pesticide residues on indoor surfaces (e.g., that have been sprayed with disinfectant) or on food that had been sprayed with a pesticide.
  • Indirect exposure could also occur by contacting pesticide-laden dust that has settled on carpets, floors, clothing, counter tops, or other surfaces.
Ingestion
  • The addition of pesticides to food commodities or packaging could result in contamination of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other food products.
  • Exposure to pesticides in consumer products might occur by incidental ingestion (e.g., from hand-to-mouth contact).
Inhalation
  • Occupational or residential exposure to pesticide products during or after application might occur by inhalation of particulates, vapors, or aerosols.

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