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|Insecticide filtration efficiency of respiratory protective equipment commonly worn by farmers in Thailand
|Farmers are at a high risk of inhalation exposure when handling pesticides. Thai farmers usually protect themselves against pesticide exposure by wearing commercial respiratory protective equipment (RPE) available from rural community markets. However, scientific data regarding the pesticide filtration efficiency of RPE commonly worn by farmers is limited. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the efficiency of insecticide filtration of various RPE commonly worn by farmers in Thailand. The half facepiece respirator was used as a control to compare the results with other RPE. Ten types of RPE were selected for testing. The filtration efficiency of each RPE against insecticides was tested in a laboratory. The remarkable findings were that a surgical mask demonstrated the least filtration efficiency of all tested insecticides, with a range of 25.7–61.5%. The RPE available in rural markets of Thailand had a filtration efficiency within a range of 64.9–95.4%, whereas a half facepiece respirator was the most efficient in filtering insecticides, with a range of 96.5–98.9%. Therefore, our results suggest that the RPE most frequently worn by farmers may not provide adequate protection when compared with the respirator. However, considerations around RPE use in low-and middle-income countries and tropical climate conditions should be based on pesticide toxicity and practical use, ensuring balance between the risks from pesticide exposure and acceptance of PPE use.
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|CMUL: Journal Articles
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