Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW), RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has developed a new methodology to calculate the period for which workers must wear gloves to mitigate the risk of residue exposure to a safe level (the so-called PPERI: Personal Protective Equipment Required Interval). The SZW Inspectorate is responsible for the enforcement. In most cases, a general period of twee weeks is used but with the new methodology, this period can be specified more accurately. It contributes to the occupational safety of workers.

Workers are exposed to plant protection products (PPPs) when they handle, inspect or harvest crops that have been treated with these products. Before a plant protection product is authorised for sale and use, a safety assessment has to be performed. Currently, the label of workers gloves’ indicates that is obligatory to use gloves, but it does not provide information about the duration of the use. This new methodology makes that possible.

The methodology is based on methodologies used in Europe and the United States. RIVM recommends to include the period into the national authorisation process of PPPs and to place it on the labels of plant protection products. Furthermore, RIVM recommends that the methodology is incorporated in the European harmonised methodology for determining worker exposure since the national approval assessor uses this EU European Union harmonised methodology.