New ISO standard improves protective clothing for agricultural farmers and workers using pesticides
A new ISO standard on protective clothing will help farmers and agricultural workers to reduce job-related risks when using liquid pesticides. Pesticides are commonly used in farming against pests, diseases and weeds. Depending on the toxicity and the use scenario, they pose health risks if users do not wear adequate protective clothing. The new ISO standard defines specific protection levels. It allows pesticide manufacturers to indicate, on the product label, the level of protection required. It allows garment manufacturers to produce, certify and sell protective clothing with defined protection levels. It allows farmers and agricultural workers to buy and use protective clothing according to the pesticide manufacturers' use requirements.
The ISO 27065:2011, 'Protective clothing – performance requirements for protective clothing worn by operators applying liquid pesticides', addresses the protection of farmers and workers mainly during the application phase of handling pesticides, i.e. the work phase where most operator contamination occurs. The standard specifies the performance requirements of protective clothing materials, seams, and garments and defines three levels of protective clothing with specified resistance to penetration by pesticide products:
- Level 1: The potential risk of contamination is relatively low. The performance requirements for level 1 garments have been developed in view of low spray drift landing on the operator, e.g. from tractor boom sprayers.
- Level 2: The potential risk of contamination is higher but not so high as to require the use of liquid-tight materials.
- Level 3: The potential risk of contamination requires use of garments made with liquid-tight materials. This level is suitable for high-exposure scenarios where it has been determined that garments that prevent liquids from penetrating/permeating provide adequate protection.
The standard will help test laboratories, fabric and garment manufacturers, manufacturers of pesticide products, trainers and regulators to make decisions regarding protective clothing for protection against pesticide products. Helmut Eichinger, Chair of ISO/TC94/SC 13, comments, “ISO 27065:2011 will help pesticide users to be better protected and improve quality and performances of protective clothing, as well put safer protective clothing on the market. It will also contribute to reducing the risk to occupational health for operators and workers who use liquid pesticides.”
The new standard was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 94, personal safety – protective clothing and equipment, subcommittee SC 13, protective clothing, and is available from ISO national member institutes. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 92 Swiss francs through the ISO store or by contacting the marketing, communication and information department.
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