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...

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...

Physical Reproductive Hazards

Physical hazards in an agricultural setting that can impact reproductive outcomes are primarily associated with activities during pregnancy. Few studies have looked specifically at physical hazards in an agricultural occupation. A number of studies have associated poor pregnancy outcomes with activities that are common in agricultural work physical labor, heavy lifting, long hours, and shift work. Jobs that involve an increase in abdominal pressure (bending and lifting), standing 6 or more...

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...

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 Sunlight Injuries

Reduction of exposure to direct sunlight is the simplest and most effective protection against sunlight-related injury. When work must be done in direct sunlight, workers should wear protective clothing, including long pants, long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and broad-brimmed hats to shade the face and neck. This may be uncomfortable on hot days, and workers should be careful to drink plenty of fluids and rest as needed so as to avoid heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Sunscreen should also be used.

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...

Rabies Prophylaxis

Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease that infects domestic and wild animals. It is transmitted to other animals and humans through saliva from infected animals such by means of bites, scratches, or licks on broken skin and mucous membranes. Once the symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is typically fatal to both animals and humans. There are fewer than five reports of people surviving rabies with intensive medical care (28-31). Table 31.3. Antibiotics recommended for bite management. Primary...

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...

Required Record Keeping

Section 29 CFR 1904 of the code of federal regulations, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, requires employers to record all work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths on the OSHA 300 or Table 4.2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards that apply to agriculture. Temporary labor camps 29 CFR 1910.142 Storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia 29 CFR 910.111 Slow-moving vehicles 29 CFR 1910.145 Hazard communication 29 CFR 1910.1200 Retention of...

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 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...

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...

Scedosporium Infection

Scedosporium is a widely distributed mold. It exists as two species S. apiospermum (asexual anamorph of Pseudallescheria boydii) and S. prolif-icans (S. inflatum). The organism is isolated from soil, potting mix, compost, and animal manure. Infection is by inhalation of spores or by direct inoculation into skin. The range of illness includes colonization, local skin infection, deep infection or disseminated disease. Normal and immunocompromised hosts can be infected. Infections have been...

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

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...

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...

The Agricultural Environment

Key words developing world, genetically modified foods, genetically modified organisms, migrant workers, seasonal workers, sensitive population Of the more than 6 billion people in the world, more than half live in rural areas and more than 40 are involved in the production of food and fiber. But, as would be expected, there are substantial differences between the developed and developing worlds in how much human effort it takes to supply the food and fiber needs of their populations. In the...

Thermoregulation in Cold Environments

Hypothermia is defined as a core temperature below 35 C (95 F). It can be considered mild (32 C to 35 C) (89.6 F to 95 F), moderate (28 C to 32 C) (82 F to 89.6 F), or severe (below 28 C)(82 F). When body tissue is exposed to cold, the cell membranes no longer function properly, fluid leaves the cell, cellular processes stop, and an electrolyte imbalance occurs. Cell death occurs as the water in and around the cells crystallizes. In response to cold, the brain attempts to stimulate heat...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...