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Noninvasive Method for the Assessment of Dermal Uptake of Pesticides Using Attenuated Total Reflectance Infrared Spectroscopy

Volume 59, Number 3 (March 2005) Page 293-299

Carden, Angela; Yost, Michael G.; Fenske, Richard A.


Dermal absorption of pesticides is a primary exposure route for agricultural workers, but is not well characterized. Current measurement techniques are either invasive, such as tape-stripping, or require extensive sample preparation or analysis time, such as urinary metabolite monitoring or wipe sampling followed by gas chromatography analysis. We present the application of a noninvasive, spectroscopic approach for the measurement of pesticide absorption into skin. Attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR) was used to monitor directly the absorption of two pesticides—captan and azinphos-methyl—in ten volunteers over 20 min under occlusive conditions. We found substantial variability in absorption across subjects. Our results were comparable to those measured by the more traditional method of wipe-sampling followed by extraction and gas chromatography analysis. Multivariate data analysis, in the form of multivariate curve resolution (MCR), is a novel addition to this type of experiment, yielding time-resolved information unachievable by standard methods. These data are potentially more informative than the monitoring of blood or urinary metabolites because they can be acquired in essentially real-time, allowing observations of pesticide absorption on a rapid timescale rather than over hours or days.