New Standard Helps Users Choose Clothing for Pesticide Work

The ISO 27065:2011 standard defines specific protection levels, allowing pesticide manufacturers to display the required level of protection needed on their products' labels.

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has released ISO 27065:2011, Protective Clothing -- Performance requirements for protective clothing worn by operators applying liquid pesticides, a new standard that will be useful to farm workers who are applying pesticides, as well as to farmers, pesticide manufacturers, and garment manufacturers. Because it defines specific protection levels, the standard enables pesticide manufacturers to list the required protection levels needed on their products' labels, according to ISO.

The pesticide application phase is where most contamination of workers occurs.

The standard deals with 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 was developed by subcommittee SC 13 of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 94, Personal safety -– Protective clothing and equipment. "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," said Helmut Eichinger, chair of ISO/TC94/SC 13. "It will also contribute to reducing the risk to occupational health for operators and workers who use liquid pesticides."

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