Effect of fabric geometry on resistance to pesticide penetration and degradation

Research paper by Mastura Raheel, Elizabeth Craig Gitz

Indexed on: 01 May '85Published on: 01 May '85Published in: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology


Cotton is a standard washable fabric for garments and is preferred for workclothing. Agricultural workers' clothing may become contaminated with pesticides. Among other factors, the rate of pesticide solution penetration and transport from the garment to the underlayers, such as undergarments or skin, depends on fabric geometry. In 100% cotton fabrics, the ease of wettability as measured by the drop absorbency rate is higher in fabrics with large interfiber and interyarn capillaries, while the level and rate of wicking is higher in fabrics with smaller interfiber and interyarn capillary radii, due to fine, highly twisted yarns and dense weave. The implication of these results is that contrary to the U.S. Federal Register specifications for closely woven fabrics as body covering for pesticide applicators, a tightly woven fabric may transport pesticide solution to the undergarments or skin more rapidly and to a greater extent, due to a wicking action.