Inhalation of golf course pesticides in northeast poses 'minimal' health risk
When golfers in the northeastern United States dream of returning to those greens and fairways next spring, they can have some reassurance that inhaling pesticides applied to the turf does not pose a serious human health threat, a new study suggests. Cornell University's Douglas A. Haith and Rebecca R. Murphy report results of the first systematic study of inhalation health risk for 15 pesticides typically applied to golf courses in the northeast.
Their report, scheduled for the Feb. 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal, concludes that the risk of cancer and other long-term health effects from inhaling vapors from the pesticides is "minimal." The researchers note, however, that a complete risk assessment for the pesticides would have to include ingestion and skin contact - intake routes not considered in their study.
The scientists also point out that the pesticides could pose significant health risks at other locations in the United States, where golfers may be exposed to higher concentrations of pesticide vapors due to warmer temperatures and lower wind speeds.