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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-73

Dermal absorption of a dilute aqueous solution of malathion


Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Center for Environmental/Occupational Risk Analysis and Management, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA

Correspondence Address:
Raymond D Harbison
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Center for Environmental/Occupational Risk Analysis and Management, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.43182

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Malathion is an organophosphate pesticide commonly used on field crops, fruit trees, livestock, agriculture, and for mosquito and medfly control. Aerial applications can result in solubilized malathion in swimming pools and other recreational waters that may come into contact with human skin. To evaluate the human skin absorption of malathion for the assessment of risk associated with human exposures to aqueous solutions, human volunteers were selected and exposed to aqueous solutions of malathion. Participants submerged their arms and hands in twenty liters of dilute malathion solution in either a stagnant or stirred state. The "disappearance method" was applied by measuring malathion concentrations in the water before and after human exposure for various periods of time. No measurable skin absorption was detected in 42% of the participants; the remaining 58% of participants measured minimal absorbed doses of malathion. Analyzing these results through the Hazard Index model for recreational swimmer and bather exposure levels typically measured in contaminated swimming pools and surface waters after bait application indicated that these exposures are an order of magnitude less than a minimal dose known to result in a measurable change in acetylcholinesterase activity. It is concluded that exposure to aqueous malathion in recreational waters following aerial bait applications is not appreciably absorbed, does not result in an effective dose, and therefore is not a public health hazard.


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