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Operator Exposure & DFR Studies

Ensure safety and regulatory compliance for plant protection products (PPPs).

Specialist OPEX and DFR GLP studies that generate relevant field data to support human risk assessment.

PPPs must be safe for the humans that come into contact with them during mixing, loading, spraying, or when entering a treated area. Tailored human exposure (OPEX/occupational exposure), dislodgeable foliar residue (DFR) studies, and the accompanying modelling tools, provide data that supports non-dietary risk assessments when seeking regulatory approval for PPPs and biocides.

OPEX/occupational exposure studies simulate real life scenarios for workers, bystanders and operators using PPPs. They investigate the dermal and/or inhalation exposure that may occur during specified work items, e.g., when using a backpack sprayer in an orchard or stables. Exposure is measured by analyzing passive dosimetry, comprising multiple clothing layers representing skin and workwear, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand washes. Inhalation exposure is assessed via personal air samplers that collect residues representing the breathing zone.

DFR studies measure the residues that can be dislodged from a treated leaf surface onto skin or clothing. This simulates human exposure when an operator enters a treated crop area, e.g., during fruit picking. Samples are taken from the treated crop at various time intervals and, using state-of-the-art laboratory analysis, the decline of dislodgeable residues is mapped over time. Study strategies can also be developed to simulate factors such as morning dew, shading, or differences in leaf size.

SGS is recognized as the benchmark for quality and integrity. Wherever you operate in the world, we have specialists ready to help you set up an effective and robust OPEX/occupational exposure and/or DFR study for your PPP.

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