Overview of Hazards for Those Working in Agriculture

Key words job task, hazards, injury, illness, allergy, stress Despite a dramatic shift in agricultural production methods in the developed nations over the past several decades, agricultural work remains one of the most hazardous occupations. In the United States during the 10 years from 1992 to 2002, the annual rate of fatal occupational injuries in agriculture (including forestry and fishing) declined 5 , from 23.9 to 22.7 per 100,000 workers. During the same time period, the rate among those...

Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation is uncommon in agricultural settings. Ionizing radiation may be used in food sterilization and decontamination procedures. Excessive exposure to ionizing radiation may lead to acute or chronic radiation sickness. Rapidly dividing cells, such as the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and blood-generating cells in the bone marrow, are particularly sensitive to radiation exposure. Hence, acute radiation sickness is characterized by gastrointestinal disturbances, bleeding due...

Phosphorus Containing Fertilizers

Monammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP) are called ammoniated phosphates because phosphoric acid is treated with ammonia to form these basic phosphate products that also contain nitrogen. They are widely produced in the granular form for blending with other types of fertilizers and are also produced in nongranular forms for use in liquid fertilizers. MAP and DAP can be toxic to the lungs in high concentrations. There are several emission standards for hazardous air pollutants...

Evaluation for Machinery

We propose a simplified algorithm (inspired by the GCS and multiple personal driving experiences, as well as assessment of thousands of patients) for such evaluation with the stipulation that it should be viewed as a suggestion rather than a prescription (Table 17.2). Table 17.2. Proposed driving or machinery operating disability scoring matrix. Somewhat impaired (leaning positive) Definitely impaired (leaning negative) Incompatible with safe driving operating of machinery Visual field and...

Etiology

Also known as farmer's lung and extrinsic allergic alveolitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is caused by exposures to specific fungi found in moldy hay, straw, and feed. In addition to moldy feed, exposure to moldy compost, wood chips, sugar cane (bagasse), composting in mushroom growing, and turkey farming can lead to HP. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is much less likely to occur in settings with organic dust exposure compared to ODTS. The overall prevalence of HP is variable and varies...

Organic Farming and Food Safety

Conventional and organic farming are two major forms of agricultural practices today. Although organic farming can be traced back to England in the 1920s, it has been embraced over the last several years due to concerns over use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms in large-scale conventional agriculture. Organic farming avoids use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and follows the principles of naturally sustainable agriculture (51). Despite many...

Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis is a persistent aggravating clinical entity. It is most common between 35 and 60 years of age, rarely occurs before age 20, and is seven times more common than medial epicondylitis. Causative physical factors include forceful gripping, throwing, lifting with palms up, forceful wrist extension, and repeated blunt trauma to the elbow. Poor overall conditioning may predispose to lateral epicondylitis due to fatigue of the shoulders and increased use of the wrists. The...

Fish Borne Diseases

Fish farming, or aquaculture, for fish and shellfish is becoming more common and more internationalized with every passing year. In the United States, more than half the seafood consumption is imported, much of it from fish farming. The world's seafood trade is very complex, and if is often difficult or impossible to determine where the seafood is raised or harvested. For example, the United States imports salmon from Switzerland and Panama though neither country is known for large salmon...

Neurotoxicity of Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as solvents, esters, hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds, and other organic chemicals, are characterized by low boiling temperature and higher volatility (Table 23.2). They are ubiquitous in agriculture, providing power for vehicles and used in every technological process. Volatile organic compound toxicity is divided into clinical syndromes based on the organ system the lungs are affected most commonly, but instances of neurological, cardiac,...

Brief History of Food Safety and Agriculture

Agriculture has evolved since humans first domesticated plants such as corn more than 6000 years ago. Although current agricultural practices vary worldwide, in the United States and developed countries agriculture has become increasingly industrialized since the 1940s and 1950s, resulting in more efficiency and production on the farm. Mechanical inventions such as the self-propelled combine reduced the need for manual labor and encouraged the production of grain commodities, which led to the...

References

Stress and Emotion A New Synthesis. New York Springer, 1999. 2. Rosenblatt PC, Keller LO. Economic vulnerability and economic stress in farm couples. Family Relations 1983 32 567-73. 3. Swisher RR, Elder GH, Lorenz FO, Conger RD. The long arm of the law how an occupation structures exposure and vulnerability to stressors across role domains. J Health Soc Behav 1998 39 72-89. 4. Murray JD. The small farm economic and emotional stress. Rural Community Mental Health Newsletter 1995 12...

Clinical Signs and Symptoms

Patients initially present with a nonspecific febrile illness. In addition, fever, muscle aches, headache, chills, dizziness, non-productive cough, nausea, and vomiting are noted. In about half of the patients malaise, diarrhea, and light-headedness are reported. Patients may report shortness of breath. Less frequent reports of arthralgias, back pain, and abdominal pain are noted. Cough and tachypnea develop around day seven. Once the cardiopulmonary phase develops, the disease progresses...

Animal Confinement Gases and Other Gases

Animal confinement areas and larger confinement animal facility operations (CAFOs) consist of indoor areas that confine and feed animals and do not grow or store grain. Animals are typically gathered in large numbers to maximize efficiency of space and labor. This practice first became widespread in poultry farms but eventually has been used in other animal confinement areas, such as for raising swine, sheep, and young beef cattle. Animals typically receive all required care in the confinement...

Dermatological Conditions

Key words predisposing factors, patch testing, wood's light, urticarian, dermatitis Skin problems in worldwide agricultural workers are very common. Among California grape and tomato harvesters, pustular eruptions such as acne and folliculitis were present in 30 of studied workers. Irritant or allergic contact dermatitis was present in 2 . In Iowa, 9.6 of male farmers and 14.4 of wives of farmers reported dermatitis during the previous 12-month period. In Washington State, researchers studied...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Processing and Transportation

The processing of food and fiber crops in the developed world is highly organized, leading to widespread availability of a dizzying array of food and nonfood products at relatively low cost. Refrigerated cargo ships and refrigerated trailers transport more than 200 types of fresh fruits and vegetables, making them available year-round at most supermarkets in the developed world. Large food processors can, box, bag, bottle, and freeze more than 10,000 different products in the United States...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Step Two Potential Toxic Agents

A personal narrative through spontaneous communications and guided by open-ended questions about the patient's perception of occupational hazards and toxic chemicals he or she might have been exposed to 2. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals of concern from the employer 3. Identification and comparison of chemical agents that may contribute to a patient's presentation, both past and present 4. Additional reference information as necessary

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...

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...

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,...

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...

Urticariogenic Plants

Urticariogenic plants are similar to cacti in that they cause mechanical injury, but they also involve a pharmacologically active toxin and are often tropical as opposed to desert plants. Nearly all plants in this group belong to the family Urticaceae, and the most prolific plants are nettles (Urtica). They contain minute stinging hairs that can inject a fluid containing histamine, acetyl-choline, and serotonin into the skin, causing an immediate inflammatory response characterized by a burning...

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...

Workplace Hazards

The agricultural work site is replete with hazards that result in fatal and nonfatal debilitating injuries or illnesses (see Chapter 3). Proven methods can eliminate or reduce many types of hazards and help identify the causes of an existing health problem (see Chapters 4, 5, and 6). An inspection of the work site by a person who is familiar with the types of work, the work environment, the social environment of agriculture, and the associated risk factors can identify health hazards (8). A...

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...