Prevalence of Disability Within Agriculture

Even though considerable attention has been given to the size of the disability community in the United States, few data sources definitively capture either the prevalence or nature of disability, especially within rural areas. There is also considerable ambiguity over the terminology used. One data source, for example, defines a disability as being off work for at least 1 day, while other sources use vague terms such as total and partial to categorize disability types. Terms such as rural,...

Production Farming as an Industry

In highly developed countries, farming ranks with manufacturing, construction, transportation, and the service industries as a major component of the economy. Improvements in farming have been basic to the progression of industrial growth. Efficiency in farming saves labor and permits a modern industrial nation to produce an adequate food supply using only a small part of the total labor force. The greatest industrial growth has occurred in those countries where agriculture is most progressive...

Ulnar Mononeuropathy

Because the ulnar nerve is a mixed nerve, supplying muscles in the forearm and hand and providing sensation over the fourth and fifth digits of the hand, palm, and posterior aspect of the forearm, very specific symptoms are associated with its pathology. Physicians are reminded that the most common site of entrapment is in the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) with the elbow being the second most common. Both the axons and the myelin sheaths may be affected, often in a selective manner, which in...

Emerging Zoonotic Agents of Concern in Agriculture

Ricky Lee Langley and Carl John Williams Key words zoonoses, hepatitis E, hendra, manangle, lyme disease, erhichia, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), hantavirus Throughout the world, we are seeing unprecedented changes in our economic, social, and ecological systems that are having adverse impacts on plants, animals, and humans. These changes are leading to the resurgence of old diseases and the emergence of new ones. The landscape and diversity of animals in many regions are...

Specific Ergonomic Forces Associated with Musculoskeletal Disorders

Agricultural work varies significantly with the type of commodity and associated work practices. Certain types of work practices are strongly identified as being at greater risk for repetitive injuries, such as manual harvest of small vegetables and fruits, meat processing, and dairy farming. A 3-year, NIOSH-supported study focusing on identifying priority MSDs in California nurseries reported upper extremity and back injuries as the most commonly reported injuries. Job tasks with the highest...

Conclusion

Living on farms or doing farm work is associated with a number of health risks, some of which may also pertain to liver or kidney. However, apart from some specific but rare diseases or some unusual local clusters, liver or kidney disease in general is not a major cause of concern in rural settings. One cause for this reduced specific illness frequency as compared with urban populations is the reduced presence of some classical behavioral risk factors, notably smoking and alcohol consumption....

Agriculture in the World

To go beyond the distorted view presented by statistical averages about world agriculture requires dividing the world into at least three groups the haves or First World, for whom food security is not an issue, the have nots or Third World, who live on less than 1 a day, and the large group of in-betweens or Second World. The First World consists of approximately 1 billion people who are largely removed from their agricultural roots, take a plentiful and inexpensive food supply for granted, and...

General Epidemiological Liver and Kidney Findings in Farmers

Cohort studies in farmers or agricultural workers have mostly been targeted at cancer outcomes those focused on other health issues are scarce. The overall findings suggest that farmers and farm residents experience less cancer and more favorable mortality patterns, except from accidents, than their respective control groups. Liver cirrhosis as a cause of death was significantly less than expected in New York farmers, and so was the incidence of liver and kidney cancer in several cohorts of...

Thermoregulation in Hot Environments

Maintaining core temperature is a balance between heat production and loss. Heat is produced by muscular exercise, digestion, and cellular processing of glucose. The body absorbs heat from the environment through convection and radiation, especially from sunlight. Heat is lost from the body by radiation, conduction, convection, and vaporization of water in the respiratory passages and on the skin through perspiration. The balance between heat production and heat loss determines the body...

Cutaneous Neoplasms

Agricultural occupational skin cancers are malignancies that result from exposure to carcinogenic forces present in agriculture. Of all occupational cancers, 75 are skin cancers, and 60 of those are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), 34 are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), and 6 are mixed. Actinic keratoses (AKs) are precancerous lesions caused by excessive sun exposure. Melanomas may occur but typically appear in older persons, and their exact rate in agriculture is unknown. In Finland, lip cancer...

Pharmacological Treatments

Pharmacotherapies for alcohol and drug addiction have been shown to be effective during the acute or subacute withdrawal periods and with methadone maintenance. Studies have examined antidipsotropics (disulfiram, calcium carbamide, metronidazole), antianxiety agents (diazepam), antipsychotics (thioth-ixene, trifluoperazine), antidepressants (imipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, lithium), and hallucinogens (lysergic acid diethylamide). Methadone maintenance for heroin addicts has also...

Pharmacology and Pathophysiology of Venom

This chapter is not intended to discuss, in detail, the properties of snake venoms the reader is referred elsewhere for a thorough review. Snake venoms have greater biochemical complexity than any other toxin of animal origin and are probably the most highly concentrated secretion products found in vertebrates (7,12). Crotaline venom is a complex heterogeneous solution and suspension of 30 to 40 different proteins, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates, and enzymes. Snake venoms can cause multiple...

Photodermatitis

Adverse reactions to the sun's rays have become more commonplace because an increasing number of photosensitizers are entering our environment from industrial, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical sources. Two types of photosensi-tivity can occur phototoxic and photoallergic. Clinically, these reactions usually resemble sunburn (31-33). Phototoxic reactions may be induced by endogenous or exogenous chemicals. Endogenous photosensitizers made by the body include porphyrin molecules. Exogenous...

Physical Examination

The physical examination may not be helpful in determining if an exposure occurred. Rashes need to be carefully described and secondary changes due to scratching, infection, or treatment documented. Halogenated hydrocarbons can produce chloracne that may be confused with acne vulgaris in adolescents. Anhydrous ammonia can cause a characteristic hyperpigmented area after a burn heals. Petroleum products may cause irritative dermatitis. Scabies is common among farm workers. Allergic contact...

Physical Examinations Preplacement Physical Examinations

The basis of any physical hazards program is the preplacement evaluation. In the 1980s, the American Disability Act described the rationale for preplace-ment evaluations. They are meant to ascertain whether the worker has any medical condition that might put the worker or someone else at risk for injury in the workplace. To put it another way Does the applicant meet the minimum physical requirements for the job In generating reports, physicians must give to supervisors and managers only the...

Phytodermatitis

Skin diseases represent the largest group of occupational diseases affecting agricultural workers, who are at the greatest risk for occupational skin disease in the United States, accounting for roughly two thirds of cases. Inedible plant products represent the largest group of causative agents for occupational skin disease among agricultural workers. Identifying and treating skin diseases in agricultural workers presents a difficult situation for the health care provider as the diseases often...

Postexposure Prophylaxis

If the species is unlikely to be infected with rabies, treatment may be deferred pending the outcome of a laboratory diagnosis, provided that no more than 48 hours transpires before the results are available. The WHO has given recommendations and separated the risks into categories (see Table 31.5). If a biting dog is more than a year old and has a vaccination certificate indicating that it has received at least 2 doses of a potent vaccine, the first not earlier than 3 months of age and another...

Potential Transmission of BSE to Humans

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence suggests that the BSE agent has been transmitted to humans via consumption of BSE-contaminated cattle products, causing nvCJD. However, the risk for acquiring vCJD from consumption of BSE-contaminated product is low, presumably because of a species barrier that provides some degree of protection against development of nvCJD. BSE is the only TSE of animals that has ever been linked with human disease. In the United Kingdom, where an estimated 1 million or...

Pre Hospital Options First aid

Many organizations, including the Red Cross, Red Crescent, and Scouts, teach basic and advanced first aid courses. Because of the long distances to medical services, some states train farm families in advanced first aid techniques. First aid courses concentrate on control of bleeding, control of the airway, covering the wound, splinting, preventing shock, and evacuation techniques. Ireland equips rural physicians with portable trauma kits to provide advanced trauma life support. The Donegal...

Prevention

Methods of preventing the transmission of infectious material from animals and poultry to agricultural workers mirror in many ways the safety techniques for protection from chemicals, trauma and other hazards (see Chapter 6). The methods are summarized in Table 27.2. Key to the prevention of the transmission of animal disease to humans is the proper processing of food products. This includes proper cook times and temperatures, adequate refrigeration, and appropriate transportation, processing,...

Prevention and Medical Management

A key in prevention of MSDs is early recognition. Clues to early diagnosis can be found in the workplace in the following ways 1. Review of company injury logs for cases typical of repetitive motion injuries 2. Assessment of jobs or work conditions that cause worker complaints of pain symptoms, fatigue, or paresthesias 3. Frequent references to physical aches and pains related to certain types of work assignments by workers visiting the clinic 4. Job tasks involving activities that are known to...

Prevention of Electrocution Injury

NIOSH described a series of 224 fatal electrocution incidents from 1982 to 1994 and noted that at least one of five factors was present for all cases. These included 1. Failure to follow safe work procedures 2. Failure to use required personal protective equipment 3. Failure to follow lock-out tag-out procedures 4. Failure to comply with existing OSHA, or recognized electrical safety code 5. Inadequate safety training (10). Prevention of electrical injury requires involvement by employers and...

Prognosis and Grading Severity of Envenomation

The symptoms, signs, and prognosis of envenomation are dependent on a number of factors, including species and size of the snake, nature of the bite (location, number of bites, character of clothing between fangs and skin, Proteases and small peptides damage the epithelial cells and basement membranes of capillaries, altering blood vessel permeability, which leads to loss of blood and plasma into tissues, which causes edema, shock from fluid shifts Capillary damage and DIC-like state lead to...

Proper Attire and Safety Rules

Any physician who visits the agricultural workplace must dress appropriately, using proper shoes, clothing, and protection against the elements. He or she should observe all safety rules requiring personal protective equipment for the ears, eyes, skin, and hair. Long hair should be pinned up to avoid catching it in rollers with the resultant scalp avulsion injuries. Women should not wear high or open-toe shoes. It is important for the physician to set an example in the use of safety equipment...

Psittacosis

Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) psittaci, C. trachomatis, and C. pneumoniae can be passed from birds of all species to humans. Wild pigeons and pheasants have been demonstrated to be a source. Wild birds in captivity, pets (usually cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, and macaws), and production animals can infect workers, and there are reports of customs and health inspection workers becoming infected. Infection is through contact with feces, urine, and oral secretions (31). Mild infection produces a...

Psychological Factors of Addiction

Psychological factors that contribute to addiction include extroversion, lack of conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Dependent personality disorders (easily led by others), anxiety disorders, and depression are commonly associated with drug abuse. In adolescents, when most drug abuse starts, low affect and lack of behavior self-regulation when interacting with family and peers predisposes them to substance experimentation. In addition, immaturity may exacerbate the natural low...

Pulmonary Mycotoxicosis

Mycotoxicosis is generally in the pulmonary form. In contrast with hyper-sensitivity pneumonitis, no lung sounds are associated with pulmonary myco-toxicosis but they are sometimes heard in organic dust toxic syndrome. Although several causes of organic dust toxic syndrome probably exist, the literature frequently suggests the syndrome to be the same as pulmonary mycotoxicosis. A review of 20 cases of apparent farmer's lung disease found 6 cases clearly to be farmer's lung and 14 more likely to...

Pulmonary Protection

Respirators are devices that fit on the face or head to provide protection against hazards from dusts, mists, fumes, and vapors. Respirators are designed for specific hazards. Testing any respirator to obtain a good fit of the mask to the individual user's face (fit testing) is important. The vendor or respirator manufacturer can provide instructions on how this should be done. Many companies have a trained individual to do fit testing using special equipment or procedures, but for many...

Q Fever

This rickettsial infection is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetti and is transmitted to humans during contact with infected parturient products, tick bites, and ingestion of infected dairy products. Cattle, sheep, and goats are considered the primary reservoirs from which human infections occur. Human infections have been described worldwide and infections during pregnancy have been associated with abortion, stillbirth, low birthweight, and preterm labor. Atypical pneumonia and hepatitis...

References

New directions in foodborne disease prevention. Int J Food Microbiol 2002 78 3-17. 2. Pimentel D, Wilson A. World population, agriculture, and malnutrition. WorldWatch 2004 SeptOct 22-5. 3. World Health Organization (WHO) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)quoted in 4. Joachim D, Davis R. From farm to fork good reasons to choose pure food. In Fresh Choices. New York St. Martin's Press, 2004. 5. Mansour S. Pesticide exposure Egyptian scene. Toxicol 2004 198 91-115. 6. Gupta PK....

Regulatory Issues in the United States

In 1997 California became the first, and remains the only, state in the United States with a regulation that targets ergonomic risk factors and repetitive motion injuries Cal OSHA GISO 5110, Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMIs) . The regulation specifies that if two or more workers performing the same tasks had diagnosed RMIs in the same workplace within the last 12 months, a three-step ergonomics program must be implemented. A United States OSHA Ergonomics Standard was proposed and accepted but...

Removal from Exposure

Whether the patient is seen in the emergency department or the office, it is imperative that the patient be removed from exposure until the symptoms and causes of the illness can be diagnosed and decontamination assured. Removal from exposure may not equate with complete removal from work. It may be possible to return the employee to modified duty while the workup and treatment are in progress. In mass causality situations, evacuation to a safe location or sequestration in a secure building...

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Kirkhorn and Guilia Earle-Richardson Key words repetitive stress disorders, cumulative trauma disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis The terminology of repetitive motion injuries has changed over the last several years. The term now used by the United States Department of Labor and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to describe adverse health effects of repetitive motion to the musculoskeletal system is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). When these...

Research

Poison control centers are effective at calling employers, chemical companies, government agencies, or other entities to determine the exact name of the offending compound. These centers can also give a list of signs and symptoms to look for, assist in making a diagnosis, and advise on the latest treatment protocols (Table 13.4). United States law mandates that employees exposed to chemicals must be given the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any chemical with which they come in contact....

Reservoir and Occurrence

All hantaviruses known to cause HPS are carried by New World rats and mice in the family Muridae, subfamily Sigmodontinae. It appears that each virus has a specific rodent host. The deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, is the host of the Sin Nombre virus. The white footed mouse, Peromyscus leu-copus, is the reservoir for New York virus. Black Creek canal virus is hosted by the cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, and the Bayou virus is hosted by the rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Various other...

Respiratory Effects of Exposure to Diesel Exhaust

Many farm vehicles are powered by diesel fuel. Diesel exhaust contains many well-known air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and fine particulate matter smaller than 10 im in diameter (PM10). In the Agricultural Health Study, the estimated prevalence of exposure to diesel fumes was 93 based on questionnaires administered to farmers. Diesel exhaust and diesel exhaust particles appear to play a role in respiratory and allergic diseases and have been associated...

Respiratory Examinations and Monitoring

Although respiratory protections is specifically covered by OSHA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Worker Protection Standard 40 USC part 170 states that workers should wear respiratory protection in certain agricultural areas. Federal Regulation 39 CFR 1910.134 requires employers to designate a program administrator to implement a respiratory protection program. This requires workers to complete an OSHA respirator medical evaluation questionnaire and have this reviewed...

Respiratory Infections

The agricultural environment harbors a rich microbial reservoir that can lead to several human infections and zoonoses depending on the specific exposures and work activities. Examples include development of swine influenza in hog confinement workers, psittacosis in poultry workers, Q fever from aerosolization of Coxiella burnetii from infected goats, sheep, and cattle, causing atypical pneumonia, and infections with Mycobacterium bovis, which is endemic in farm animals (118). Exposure to...

Respiratory Protection Program

The EPA worker protection standards (40 USC Part 170) cover the respiratory protection regulations in the agricultural industry. The program requires at minimum that workers complete an OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire, which can be found at the OSHA Web site. The United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that an industrial hygienist should be consulted during any production process when respirators are considered. General engineering...

Roadblocks to Treatment

With exceptions, such as ornamental horticulture, most agricultural enterprises are carried out in rural areas, far from doctors' offices, clinics, trauma hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities. Many countries, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and countries in equatorial Africa or Central America, have minimal medical care and may not have facilities to effectively treat farm trauma except in the large cities. Many countries lack any prehospital care at all and the populace may have...

Role of Education in the Safety Hierarchy

In addition to the three E's model of achieving safety (engineering, education, and enforcement), various forms of the hierarchy of safety have been utilized by the agricultural safety and health profession. Each of these models typically includes an educational component, but most place it at the bottom of the structure or list of priorities. The steps in the hierarchy of one commonly used model are summarized as follows 1. Remove or eliminate the hazard. 2. Guard the hazard from inadvertent...

Safety Engineering of Machinery

Agricultural machines cut, pick, lift, load, move, carry, unload, strip, thresh, grind, mix, chop, spread, spray, discharge, and otherwise process many types of agricultural materials, including crops, soils, chemicals, and wastes. They also include tractors and other units that provide the power necessary to pull and actuate the machines that actually process the materials. This processing requires machine components of two types 1. Functional components that perform the desired function on...

Safety Hierarchy and Machine Safety Design Protocol

The consensus safety hierarchy for prevention of agricultural injuries follows five steps, in priority order 1. Eliminate the hazards, if possible. Observe American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) and OSHA safety standards. 2. Guard the hazard. Use shield, casing, enclosure, barrier, or interlock. 4. Train the user about the hazard. 5. Protect the user with personal protective equipment. Often a combination of methods is used. Design engineers have control over the first three steps...

Safety Standards

Agricultural machines sold and used in the U.S. and Canadian markets are designed in accordance with ASAE standards, which are voluntary consensus documents. These standards do not carry the force of law, but they are followed by machinery manufacturers. Not following such standards is generally looked upon negatively in any product-related litigation. There are numerous ASAE standards relating to the safety of machines. While new standards and revisions of older standards have improved safety...

Scattered and Isolated Farm and Ranch Locations

There are approximately 10 to 12 million farms and ranches in the world, many of which are located in relatively isolated locations. Reaching these sites in a cost-effective manner has proven very difficult. Historically, the primary means of providing educational resources to the farm population has been through programs offered by government or university extension services. The United States and many other countries have an extension office that is supported by university and government...

Signs Symptoms and Diagnosis

Head lice primarily infest children but do affect all ages (19). Of interest, in the Americas, blacks are less affected than others, whereas the reverse is true in Africa (20). A red, maculopapular rash on the scalp, the nape of the neck, and the shoulders may occasionally result, but most infestations lack symptoms. Excoriation may yield crust, matted hair, and bacterial infection. Eggs or nits are more easily found than lice hair casts, seborrheic material, and other debris can closely mimic...

Sociological Factors of Drug Abuse Causation

Social factors include peer pressure and the availability of drugs in the community, school, or workplace. Experimentation with drugs is common among youths, but only a small number develop habituation and addiction. Drug addicts need to have other users around them to validate their behavior and to use in transport (mules), sales (pushers), or purchases of drugs. In this manner, drug use is a socially contagious disease. The workplace, whether it is a farm, packing house, or veterinary supply...

Storage and

Workers should wear personal protective equipment and avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing. Workers must avoid breathing dusts, wash thoroughly after handling, and use with adequate ventilation. Contaminated clothing should be laundered before reuse. Ammonium sulfate should be stored in a cool, dry area, away from strong oxidizers. For exposure control and personal protection, natural or mechanical ventilation sufficient to maintain levels below the recommended exposure levels should be...

Swine Influenza

This viral infection is thought to have been responsible for the worldwide pandemic that caused an estimated 40 million deaths in 1918 to 1919. During this epidemic, pregnancy was associated with a high mortality rate of over 50 if pneumonia was present. Since this pandemic, reports of swine influenza cases have been rare, with only sporadic case reports of human illness in the United States, Europe, and Russia. There is a case report of a previously healthy pregnant woman who acquired swine...

Temporary Labor Camps

Although agriculture employers are not required to provide housing to temporary employees, 29 CFR 1910.142, Temporary Labor Camps, applies when the employer provides temporary housing to workers. This regulation seeks to ensure a safe and healthful place of living for migrant and other temporary workforces. Temporary labor camps must maintain minimum standards for site, shelter, water supply, toilet facilities, kitchen and dining facilities, pest control, first aid, and reporting of...

Terrorism and Food Safety

Given the reality of the geopolitical terrorism threats facing the world today, agriculture can also be a potential target for terrorism. For instance, agroter-rorism, the use of microbes and poisons to shake the confidence in the food supply, could cripple the 201 billion agricultural economy in the United States. Diseases such as swine fever and citrus greening can potentially spread across the land silently. The impact of a single case of foot-and-mouth disease could require the destruction...

Thallium Toxicity

Thallium poisoning induces a painful sensory neuropathy, particularly at the soles and palms, which may be followed by lower extremity weakness, ataxia, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, and coma. Neuro-ophthalmic symptoms such as diplopia, abnormal color vision, and impairment of visual acuity may develop early, while dermatologic manifestations such as alopecia, rashes, palmar erythremia, and Mees lines in the nails and gums may be delayed by several weeks. Electrodiagnostic findings...

The Mental Health of Agricultural Workers

Seligman Key words stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, coping Because of the difficulties intrinsic to agricultural work, it might be conjectured that agricultural workers are at risk for mental health problems. Relatively little research has examined the mental health of agricultural workers, however, and much of the research that has been conducted on the topic is dated. Despite the scattered nature of this research, the image that has emerged reveals a...

Tractors and Self Propelled Machines

Operators of tractors and self-propelled machines face risk of overturns, runovers, and roadway collisions. Tractors and self-propelled machines also have operator stations that must be engineered with human factors in mind for safe and comfortable operation. To minimize or prevent injury during an overturn, either caused by operator practice or situations beyond control of the operator, ROPS have been developed. They are not ordinarily found on self-propelled machines other than tractors,...

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathis History

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) constitute a rare group of neurodegenerative disorders. They are invariably fatal and affect humans and animals. TSEs in animals include transmissible mink encephalopathy, scrapie (affecting sheep and goats), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer and elk. TSEs in humans include Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD), new variant CJD, fatal familial insomnia, Gertsman-Straussler-Scheinker...

Trauma in the Agricultural Setting

Key words mechanisms of injury, agents of injury, prehospital care, trauma care systems By the very nature of the industry, traumatic injuries in agriculture are common and difficult to treat. In the agricultural environment, the worker is exposed to a number of hazards, well documented in other chapters of this book. The work is hard and demanding and often carried out under unfavorable and harsh weather conditions. This chapter will document the scope of injuries in worldwide agriculture,...

Treatment Modalities

The National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Studies (NASCIS) I and II published in the 1990s demonstrated significant benefit in administering high doses of methylprednisolone early after a spinal cord injury (within 8 hours). The dose is 30 mg kg IV over 15 minutes, followed by 5.4 mg kg h via continuous intravenous infusion over 24 hours (12,13). In cases of failure of the listed approaches and procedures, resuscitative sta-bilizing measures of increasingly heroic nature are attempted 1. Heavy...

United States Snakebite Data

American farmers are at high risk from animal-associated injuries. Surveys by the National Safety Council found animals accounting for 17 of all nonfatal farm injuries, second only to agricultural machinery. In an epidemiology study from 1979 to 1990, animals were responsible for 3.6 of all farm deaths, and there were 66 deaths from snakebites, accounting for 3.5 of all animal-related deaths (19,20). About 45,000 snakebites are reported in the United States annually, with approximately 8,000...

Urea

Urea (NH2)2 CO is a solid nitrogen product typically applied to crops in granular form. It can also be combined with ammonium nitrate and dissolved in water to make liquid nitrogen fertilizer. Urea can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its aerosol and by ingestion. Urea's evaporation point at 20 C is negligible. A nuisance-causing concentration of airborne particles can be reached quickly if urea is powdered (11,12). Urea irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Urea inhalation...

Use of Plant Growth Regulators in Agriculture

In agricultural application a PGR is defined as a substance used for controlling or modifying plant growth processes without appreciable phytotoxic effect at the dosage applied. In order for a PGR to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, its use, as recommended on the label, must be safe for the plant, its applicator, and the environment as far as can be feasibly determined. Thus, neither plant nor human injury is to be expected from most properly applied PGRs (2). The PGRs...

Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

Many veterinarians compound and apply their own pharmaceuticals to their patients. Safety guidelines in both the manufacture and use of these medications are less stringent than in humans, although the risk of injury to the people who come in contact with them is just as great. Substances in this group include antibiotics, immunizations, hormones, anesthetics, steroids, disinfectants, sterilants, prostaglandins, special feed formulas, and insecticides. A good example is the accidental injection...

Viral Diseases Avian Influenza

Avian influenza A (H5N1) first infected humans in 1997, in Hong Kong. The virus was transmitted directly from birds to humans. Eighteen people were admitted to hospitals, and 6 died. In 2003, 2 cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) infection occurred among members of a Hong Kong family, 3 of whom had traveled to mainland China. One person died. How or where these 2 people became infected was not determined. Influenza A has the potential to cross species and has been implicated in the 3 flu...

Warm Water Immersion Syndromes Paddy Foot

Tropical immersion foot, some times called paddy foot occurs after continuous or near continuous exposure of the foot to water or mud at temperatures above 22 C (71.6 F) for 2 or more days. Burning and itching are the first symptoms, but walking becomes increasingly painful. The foot is swollen, and if the shoe is removed, it may not be able to be replaced. There is redness of the dorsum of the foot. Papules or vesicles, lymph node involvement into the groin, and fevers can develop. Treatment...

Warnings

Warnings are used when a hazard cannot be eliminated or guarded, meaning it is up to the operator to take proper actions to prevent injury. Warnings are also used when hazards are guarded, both to inform the operator and to provide a reason not to remove a guard or take actions that could result in injury. Additionally, warnings educate the operator about proper procedures and additional hazards that a machine operator could encounter during the course of operation for example, an operator of a...

Wet Dressings

Absorbent material such as cotton dressings moistened with cool water or Burrow's solution (aluminum acetate diluted 1 40 in water) should be applied to the affected area four to six times a day. The effects of this treatment include bacteriostasis, gentle debridement, debris removal, and evaporative cooling to lessen pruritus (8,9). Warm, moist dressings are useful in superficial and deep bacterial skin infections in debridement, surfacing of the infection, absorbing purulent material, and...

Whole Body Immersion

There is an extensive literature on the body's response to submersion in activities such as self-contained underwater breating apparatus (SCUBA) diving. There are a whole host of physiologic changes that take place due to pressure, the work of breathing, and the gas mixture breathed. The main issue is heat transfer because water conducts heat at a rate 200 times that of air. Thus changes in core temperature are more rapid and more difficult to control when the person is immersed or submerged....

Wood and Dog Ticks

Wood ticks (Dermacentor andersoni) are common in the western mountains dog ticks (Dermacentor variables) are common in the coastal regions. Adult wood ticks feed on woodchucks or marmots adult dog ticks prefer dogs. Nymphs and larvae feed on voles and mice. All stages feed in early summer. Adult ticks, the only stage that attacks humans, are attracted to grassy sites and also to carbon dioxide sources, e.g., cars. Gentle traction with a forceps easily removes these ticks, which always remain...

Work Site Visits

Key words modified duty, hazards, return to work, injury prevention A better understanding of the health hazards of the workplace can be gained by work site visits. Physicians can use their observational skills to increase their understanding of work processes, hazardous exposures, potential adverse health effects, preventive principles, and control measures during inspection of work sites. This chapter focuses on previsit preparations, the site visit, and postvisit responses (1,2).

Worker Protection Standard

The United States Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) gives the EPA the authority to regulate pesticides. In 1995 the EPA adopted the Pesticide Worker Protection Standard (WPS), 40 CFR 170. The WPS seeks to reduce pesticide exposure through four primary interventions use of personal protection equipment, posted pesticide safety information, decontamination, and restricted entry intervals. The Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 mandated a massive re-registration...

Wound Care

Wounds require careful irrigation with saline and povine iodine and debridement to remove saliva, teeth, dirt, oils, and necrotic tissue. Primary closure is possible in areas where cosmetic results are important, where the wounds are not deep and extensive, and in patients without immune compromise. Otherwise, most authorities recommend that wounds be treated open with packing and bulky dressings. Most authorities also recommend delaying tendon and nerve repair until after the threat of...

Urticaria

Acute and chronic urticaria and angioedema can result from exposure to a number of agricultural products. They may be caused by immunologic and nonimmunologic histamine releasers. Immunologic mechanisms involve type I (immunoglobulin G IgG -mediated), type II (cytotoxic antibody-mediated), or type III (immune complex-mediated) reactions. Nonimmunologic mechanisms usually involve substances such as aspirin that directly incite the release of histamine and other mediators from mast cells....

Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles the supraspinatus, infraspina-tus, subscapularis, and terres minor. The supraspinatus is the primary rotator cuff area involved in impingement and tears. Impingement is the primary cause of rotator cuff tendinopathy, calcification, and degenerative tears. Acromioclavicular osteoarthritis resulting in osteophyte formation often results in impingement. Repetitive overhead work, reaching, and throwing activities can begin the process of impingement...

Other Health Effects of Mycotoxins

Little is known about the prolonged human effects of exposure to mycotoxins. One reason so little research has been done on its association with chronic disease is the difficulty and expense. Airborne exposure levels at coffee, cocoa bean, and spice processing plants resulted in increased blood levels of ochratoxin A, a secondary metabolite of Aspergillis and Penicillium (also common in grains and vine fruit), which has been found carcinogenic, genotoxic, teratogenic, immunotoxic and...

Infections

In agriculture, people work close to water, animals, crops, natural fertilizers, and the soil, all of which serve to carry infectious diseases that can infect the skin. Persons with immunological disease, malnutrition, diabetes, and severe systemic disease are at risk for any kind of a infectious disease. Bacterial Infections Staphylococci and Streptococci These gram-positive bacteria cause infection through contamination of cuts, burns, puncture wounds, and abrasions. All occupations are at...

Scabies

The mite that causes scabies, Sarcoptes scabiei, is colorless and less than 1 mm long (2,3). It perpetuates solely in human skin, forming sinuous burrows in the stratum corneum. Adult females periodically emerge from their burrows to crawl over the skin surface. The mites die within two days of isolation from a human host transmission results mostly from direct contact between human hosts rather than fomite transfer through contaminated clothing or bedding. Crowding, common in migrant labor...

Contributors

Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA Associate Professor and Director, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Services, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Health, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University Chief of Industrial, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at Marshall University...

Electromagnetic Energy

Electromagnetic energy is carried at low frequencies in electrons. The energy supplied by electrons is determined by the voltage (the force acting to push electrons through a conductor) and the flow of electrons, known as current. Current flow is measured in amperes or milliamperes (mA). Common residential and industrial machinery uses alternating current, indicating that the flow of electrons alternates in direction, typically at a frequency of 60 cycles per second, or 60 hertz (Hz). A...

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Classic carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a focal nerve entrapment of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel of the wrist resulting in a complex of clinical symptoms and signs in the distal distribution of the median nerve. The criteria in the NIOSH case definition for work-related CTS are the following 1. Symptoms suggestive of CTS (paresthesias, hypoesthesia, or pain in distribution of the median nerve) 2. Objective findings such as positive Tinel's sign, Phalen's sign, or decreased sensation in...

Femoral Mononeuropathy

Femoral mononeuropathy in the agricultural setting may be caused primarily by compression of the nerve as it passes through the psoas muscle and through the iliopsoas groove. This compression may be caused by excessive flexion, abduction, and external rotation of the hip, which occur relatively commonly in workers whose daily routine requires manipulation of heavy objects. Blunt trauma to the nerve is also common, as is resulting hemorrhage that exacerbates the degree of neuropathy (41)....

Solvents and Fuels

Although exposures to organic solvents and fuels are not specific for agricultural settings, they represent typical health risks for farmers. Solvents and fuels not only are used in repair and maintenance work, as in painters or cleaners, but also are often the basis for the preparation of pesticide solutions for spraying. Especially for sprayed solvents, exposure through inhalation or skin contact not only of vapors but also of aerosols is possible. Depending on the substance used, the...

Plants Causing Asthma andor Rhinitis

Often the same identified type of stimuli may cause rhinitis in one person and asthma in another. Pollens and organic dusts including endotoxins, bacteria, glucans, insect parts, grain mites, mold or mycotoxins from fungi, and aerosolized and respirable dust from the plant product or pure plant material are the sources of virtually all plant-borne causes of rhinitis and asthma. Several years ago it was questioned as to whether grain dust asthma really existed, but this was primarily attributed...

Toxic Gas Inhalation Silo Fillers Disease

Farms with large numbers of livestock typically rely on a large storage container called a silo to store animal feed. A variety of relatively airtight structures can serve for animal feed storage, including upright metal tower silos, in-ground pits, and even huge plastic bags. In the silo, recently harvested grains are tightly compressed to squeeze out most of the air. The remaining oxygen is consumed rapidly by actively metabolizing plant cells. As the silo becomes anaerobic, rising amounts of...

Toxic Effects of Plant Growth Regulators

Details of the effects of some representative PGRs on various species, including humans, are given in Table 15.1. If properly used, PGRs have an excellent safety record. However, if the wrong concentration is used, if safety equipment is not properly used, or if the application times are not correct, poisoning can occur in plants, animals, and humans. A good example is hydrogen cyanamide. This PGR is considered very effective and economical in assuring uniform bud break in crops including...

Prevention Strategies Preplacement Physical Examination

Preplacement examinations are useful in two ways 1 making an inventory of the skin problems the worker has before beginning a task, and 2 identifying conditions that may preclude working at a specific job task. It may be impossible to exclude a given employee from a task due to legal or political restrictions. Therefore, the preplacement physical examination can identify the problems a prospective employee has and recommend specific control measures designed to keep from making it worse. An...