Agriculture - 1,538 entries found
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Ngowi A.V.F., Maeda D.N., Partanen T.J.
Assessment of the ability of health care providers to treat and prevent adverse health effects of pesticides in agricultural areas of Tanzania
A survey of Tanzanian health care providers in agricultural areas was undertaken in 1991-1994 to assess their knowledge of toxic effects of pesticides in order to develop effective strategies for reducing pesticide poisoning. Interviews were conducted with 104 physicians, clinical officers and nurses at health care facilities in the coffee and cotton growing areas. 80% of respondents reported to have seen one and 9% two or more cases of pesticide poisoning in the preceding three months. The respiratory tract was the major route for pesticide to enter the human body; this was followed by gastrointestinal tract, skin, and eyes. Only one of the respondents could identify the groups of pesticides mostly used in the study areas. The survey indicated that training of hospital staff in toxicity of pesticide exposure is an important task and a prerequisite for efficient recognition, diagnosis and treatment of pesticide poisoning cases in Tanzania.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2001, Vol.14, No.4, p.349-356. 21 ref.
Settimi L., Comba P., Bosia S., Ciapini C., Desideri E., Fedi A., Perazzo P.L., Axelson O.
Cancer risk among male farmers: A multi-site case-control study
In order to examine the association between cancer and farming among male agricultural workers, a hospital-based case-control study was conducted in five Italian rural areas. The cancer sites selected for the study were: lip, oral cavity and oropharynx, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, lung, skin melanoma, skin non-melanoma, prostate, bladder, kidney and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In all, 1525 newly diagnosed cases, aged 20-75 years, were ascertained in hospital records, covering the period between March 1990 and September 1992. For 1279 cases, detailed exposure information was collected by a standard questionnaire. Data analyses were performed comparing each cancer site to a control group, including a subset of the other cancer sites in the study. Increased risks of cancer associated with agricultural work were found for stomach (OR=1.4), rectum (OR=1.5), larynx (OR=1.4) and prostate (OR=1.4). The excess of prostate cancer was specifically related to application of pesticides (OR=1.7).
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2001, Vol.14, No.4, p.339-347. 50 ref.
Yamano Y., Kagawa J., Ishizu S., Harayama O.
Three cases of acute methyl bromide poisoning in a seedling farm family
Three patients of a same Japanese farming family (39-year-old man, 34-year-old woman, 5-year-old girl) exhibited almost the same initial symptoms, i.e., severe vomiting, tonic convulsions and clouding of consciousness. Subsequent inquiry revealed that 27 cans of methyl bromide had been stored in the building that the patients lived in, and that the cans had been damaged a few days before the onset of the patients' illness. Inspection revealed that all the cans of methyl bromide had passed the expiry date and were corroded. Even though none of the cans had been used, three cans with a capacity of 750g were found to be empty. Plasma bromide ion concentrations were found to be high (72.9µg/mL, 67.8µg/mL and 91.5µg/mL; normal level <5µg/mL), and acute methyl bromide poisoning was diagnosed 8 days after admission of the patients to the hospital. Haemodialysis (peritoneal lavage in the case of the child) was performed immediately, after which the plasma bromide ion concentrations returned to normal and the general condition of the patients gradually improved.
Industrial Health, Oct. 2001, Vol.39, No.4, p.353-358. Illus. 20 ref.
Spiewak R., Skorska C., Dutkiewicz J.
Occupational airborne contact dermatitis caused by thyme dust
To assess occupational hazards to the farmer's skin associated with processing thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), 46 farmers were studied during the threshing of dried thyme. They were questioned about work-related skin problems and examined before and after work. In all persons studied, serum thyme-specific IgE was measured. Skin prick tests, the Ouchterlony test and the leukocyte migration inhibition test were carried out with allergens of airborne bacteria and fungi present in the working environment. Of the 46 farmers studied, 4 showed skin symptoms after 530min of exposure to thyme dust. Thyme-specific IgE was found in 1 person with work-related symptoms, but also in 2 asymptomatic farmers. Therefore, the importance of IgE seems to be questionable in eczema related to thyme dust. Skin and blood tests with microbial allergens also showed no significant differences between the symptomatic and asymptomatic farmers. The aetiology of thyme-related skin symptoms remains unknown, although an irritant mechanism seems probable.
Contact Dermatitis, Apr. 2001, Vol.44, No.4, p.235-239. 16 ref.
Salinas M.L., Ogura T., Soffchi L.
Irritant contact dermatitis caused by needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, raphides, in Agave tequilana among workers in tequila distilleries and agave plantations
Needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, such as raphides, are found abundantly in all tissues of Agave tequilana plants; thus, 1 droplet (0.03mL) of juice pressed from leaves contains 100-150 crystals, 30-500µm in length, sharpened at both ends. In tequila distilleries, 5/6 of the workers who handle agave stems have experienced the characteristic irritation. In contrast, only one third of workers in agave plantations involved in harvesting agave plants complain of the irritation. This questionnaire study confirms that all the irritation suffered in both distilleries and plantations takes place at bodily locations where the plants come into contact with the workers' skin in the course of their work.
Contact Dermatitis, Feb. 2001, Vol.44, No.2, p.94-96. Illus. 15 ref.
Testud F., Garnier R., Delemotte B.
Human toxicology of plant protection chemicals - Volume I: General principles, Insecticides, Fungicides and Fumigants
Toxicologie humaine des produits phytosanitaires - Tome I: Principes généraux, Insecticides, Fongicides et Fumigants [in French]
This publication is aimed at emergency ward physicians, clinicians and forensic surgeons faced with cases of acute and chronic pesticide poisoning, as well as at occupational physicians involved with the evaluation, prevention and medical supervision of toxic hazards linked to the occupational exposure to these products. Contents: general principles; toxicology of major classes of pesticides; insecticides; fungicides; fumigants.
Editions ESKA, 12 rue du Quatre-Septembre, 75002 Paris, France, 2001. 272p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Index. Price: EUR 53.36.
Injuries among farm workers the United States 1995
This report presents statistical data from the 1995 US national Traumatic Injury Surveillance of Farmers Project. Data include injury estimates by type of farm, status of worker, sex, age group, race and source of injury at the national and regional level, along with injury estimates for each State. An estimated total of 195,825 lost-time work injuries occurred (incidence rate 6.8 injuries/100 full-time workers). The highest injury rates were associated with specialty livestock operations followed by cash grain operations, nursery operations and field crop operations. The leading causes of injuries were machinery (excluding tractors), followed by livestock, working surfaces and tractors.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA, May 2001. viii, 338p. 6 ref.
Myers J.R., Hendricks K.J.
Injuries among youth on farms in the United States 1998
More than two million young persons less than 20 years of age are potentially exposed to injuries in the agricultural sector each year in the United States. They include farm residents, farm family workers, hired workers, children of migrant or seasonal workers and farm visitors. They are exposed to a wide range of hazards, including farm machinery and vehicles, falls and animals. This document presents national and regional data for nonfatal youth injuries in farms in 1998 drawn from a special survey of farm operators. 33,000 youth were injured on farms in 1998. Major causes of injury were falls, animals and all-terrain vehicles.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA, June 2001. x, 179p. 8 ref.
Mather C., Lower T.
Preferred methods to reduce farm-related injury
To identify preferred farm injury prevention strategies from a producers' viewpoint, a sample of 506 Tasmanian farmers responded to a questionnaire which assessed their preference for broad approaches to reduce farm-related injuries and the provision of safety information. The main approaches suggested were education and common sense. Other options were increased commodity prices and modifications to existing workers compensation arrangements. In ranking potential mechanisms for the dissemination of information related to farm injury prevention, the vast majority of farmers selected fact sheets as their first preference, with field day sessions and seminars or courses as the next options. This study illustrates that farmers have specific preferences for the manner in which safety information is disseminated.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, June 2001, Vol.17, No.3, p.301-307. Illus. 30 ref.
Cattani M., Cena K., Edwards J., Pisaniello D.
Pest control operators: Risk perception of the use of chlorpyrifos
A questionnaire survey addressing the health symptoms and work practices of 31 Western Australian pest control operators who used chlorpyrifos was conducted. Task observations were also made. All operators reported that: all washed their hands when "dirty" or following a job; 58% spilt the concentrate at least once a week; 74% had recently spilt or splashed diluted chlorpyrifos in their eyes and 90% on their boots; and 52% believed that they would benefit from more education concerning chlorpyrifos. No significant adverse health symptoms were reported. Observations showed that: all operators were exposed to chlorpyrifos; 26% washed their hands; 78% had a spill or splash; and 48% wore inappropriate gloves or no gloves. A discrepancy therefore exists between the operators' perceptions of risk and their actual exposure.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, June 2001, Vol.17, No.3, p.295-299. 15 ref.
Zheng T., Zahm S.H., Cantor K.P., Weisenburger D.D., Zhang Y., Blair A.
Agricultural exposure to carbamate pesticides and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
To explore the possible relationship between non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and carbamate insecticide use among farmers, a pooled analysis of three population-based case-control studies conducted in four mid-western states in the United States was conducted involving 985 white male subjects and 2895 matched controls. Compared with non-farmers, farmers who had ever used carbamate pesticides had a 30% to 50% increased risk of NHL, whereas farmers without carbamate pesticide use showed no increased risk. Analyses for individual carbamate pesticides found a more consistent association with Sevin but not carbofuran, butylate, or S-ethyl dipropylthiocarbamate plus protectant. Among farmers using Sevin, the risk of NHL was limited to those who personally handled the product, those who first used the product for >20 years before their disease diagnosis, and those who used the product for a longer period. These associations persisted after adjusting for other major classes of pesticides. These results suggest an increased risk of NHL associated with carbamate pesticide use, particularly Sevin. Further investigation of the association is warranted.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2001, Vol.43, No.7, p.641-649. 33 ref.
Arcury T.A., Quandt S.A., Preisser J.S., Norton D.
The incidence of green tobacco sickness among Latino farmworkers
The prevalence and incidence density (ID) and the risk factors of green tobacco sickness among minority farm workers in North Carolina were estimated. Using a prospective surveillance design, 182 farm workers were interviewed up to 5 times at biweekly intervals in 1999. The green tobacco sickness prevalence was 24.2%, whereas the ID was 1.88 days per 100 days worked. Greater work experience (more than five years ID = 0.87; first year ID = 2.41) and nonsmoking status (nonsmoker ID of 1.18 compared to smoker ID of 2.39) were negatively associated with green tobacco sickness. Tasks and working in wet clothing had the largest effect. More effort must be directed toward preventing this occupational illness that affects workers who have little control over workplace safety.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2001, Vol.43, No.7, p.601-609. 33 ref.
Arcury T.A., Quandt S.A., Cravey A.J., Elmore R.C., Russell G.B.
Farmworker reports of pesticide safety and sanitation in the work environment
Migrant and seasonal farm workers are at risk for occupational illnesses from pesticide exposure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of pesticide safety regulations, to learn from farm worker safety experiences in the United States and to develop effective measures to improve agricultural workplace safety. Research included in-depth interviews with farm workers, farmers and health care providers, including interviews with 270 minority farm workers during 1998, and 293 during 1999. It was found that farm workers and farmers held different beliefs concerning pesticide safety, which affects sanitation practices. Farm workers report that farm owners do not adhere to regulations mandating training and basic sanitation facilities. Several points of intervention are proposed for improving pesticide safety and sanitation. In particular, the emphasis for intervention must include educating farmers as well as farm workers.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 2001, Vol.39, No.5, p.487-498. 34 ref.
Eduard W., Douwes J., Mehl R., Heederik D., Melbostad E.
Short term exposure to airborne microbial agents during farm work: Exposure-response relations with eye and respiratory symptoms
Airborne exposure to microbial agents of 106 Norwegian farmers and their spouses was measured while carrying out specific tasks. Fungal spores, bacteria, endotoxins, β(1-3)-glucans, fungal antigens specific for Penicillium and Aspergillus species, and mites were measured by methods not based on microbial cultures. Also silica, inorganic and organic dust, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and nitrogen dioxide were measured. Respiratory, nose and eye symptoms experienced during measurements were recorded by a short questionnaire. Prevalences of work related symptoms were: wheezing 3%; chest tightness 7%; cough 14%; eye symptoms 18%; nose symptoms 22%. Prevalence ratios for nose and eye symptoms were 4-8 after exposure to 20-500x103 fungal spores/m3 and higher, and a prevalence ratio for cough was 4 after exposure to 500-17,000x103 fungal spores/m3. Nose symptoms were also associated with exposure to silica with prevalence ratios of 4-6 after exposure to 0.015-0.075mg/m3 and higher.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2001, Vol.58, No.2, p.113-118. 29 ref.
Delemotte B., Liénard M., Abadia G., Gingomard M.A., Grillet J.P.
Occupational diseases in the agricultural sector
Pathologie en milieu professionnel agricole [in French]
In a broad sense, the agricultural sector includes crop and livestock farms, maintenance of parks, forestry work, rural sector crafts, certain food industries and agricultural service organizations. Several hundred types of occupations are represented in this sector, totalling around one million workers in France, of which most are temporary or seasonal workers. For nine types of occupations selected on the basis of their well-defined nature as well as in terms of the number of persons employed, the most frequent occupational hazards, preventive measures and medical supervision procedures are discussed. These occupations include: driving of tractors or agricultural machinery; work on pig farms; work in horticulture and market gardening; viticulture; forestry work; landscaping work; work in grain cooperatives; work in dairies; work in slaughterhouses and in the meat industry.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 4th Quarter 2001, No.133, 8p. 25 ref.
Park H., Sprince N.L., Whitten P.S., Burmeister L.F., Zwerling C.
Risk factors for back pain among male farmers: Analysis of Iowa Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Study
Back pain causes considerable morbidity, disability and economic loss among workers. Farmers handle heavy objects, often in awkward postures. However, the prevalence of back pain among farmers and the risk factors associated with back pain are not well known. This study assesses the frequency of risk factors for back pain among 287 Iowa male farmers. Using a mail questionnaire, data on potential risk factors for back pain were collected between 1992 and 1994, and surveyed eighteen months later for the occurrence of back pain as the outcome measure. It was found that 31% of farmers reported having daily back pain for a week or more during the past 12 months compared to 18.5% in the general working population. Using a multiple logistic regression model, two factors associated with back pain were highlighted: 45-59 years of age (OR = 2.13) and having a non-agricultural job as the major occupation (OR = 2.02).
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dec. 2001, Vol.40, No.6, p.646-654. Illus. 38 ref.
Matray D., Larbre J.P., Teisseire C., Thibaudier J.M., Dupupet J.L., Bergeret A., Vial C.
Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by vine pruning
Syndromes du canal carpien déclenchés par la taille de la vigne [in French]
In this study involving 150 randomly-selected vineyard workers in France called in for an occupational medicine examination, 20% presented a unilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in the dominant hand triggered by pruning of vines. This syndrome disappeared within a month of cessation of this activity. Recurrence of CTS was observed each pruning season among 80% of the workers. Such a pathology appears to affect predisposed subjects. It is advised to use electric shears to prevent this recurring problem.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Apr. 2001, Vol.62, No.2, p.92-95. 8 ref.
Wesseling C., Van Wendel de Joode B., Monge P.
Pesticide-related illness and injuries among banana workers in Costa Rica: A comparison between 1993 and 1996
Reported occupational injuries and illness among banana workers in Costa Rica during 1993 and 1996 were analysed. Between 1993 and 1996, an overall 35% decrease in injuries was observed, attributable to a marked decline in topical injuries (3.3 compared to 1.9 per 100 workers), whereas systemic poisonings remained the same (0.7 per 100 in both years). In both years, paraquat was the pesticide most frequently associated with injuries, mostly skin and eye lesions. Workers at highest risk per unit time of exposure were nematocide applicators, herbicide applicators, and cleaners of packing plants. Despite control measures, further reduction of systemic illness had not been achieved. The decrease of topical injuries may be partly explained by improved work conditions, but possible underreporting hinders interpretation.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr.-June 2001, Vol.7, No.2, p.90-97. 25 ref.
Wheat J.R., Donham K.J., Simpson W.M.
Medical education for agricultural health and safety
Family physicians who respond to agricultural hazards can maintain their rural practices while establishing the credibility necessary for acceptance as partners in programmes for agricultural community health. Family physicians with expertise in rural community health and occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) can be the front line of agricultural medicine. They need to be trained in rural medicine, rural public health, family medicine and OEM (including agricultural medicine). Few educational institutions are prepared currently to merge and coordinate these programmes into a coherent rural and agricultural medicine programme. It is recommended that a medical school in each distinctive agricultural region construct a model for developing physicians specialized in agricultural medicine and seek partners and resources to implement the model. Examples include the Iowa, South Carolina and Alabama models. A vocal rural and agricultural constituency may be required for success.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.77-92. Illus. 20 ref.
Analysis of hospital records on farm injuries over three years in South Carolina
This paper discusses agricultural injury records and injury surveillance needs in the state of South Carolina, USA. Between 1996 and 1998, there were a total of 827 farm related injuries reported by South Carolina hospitals. 79% of the victims were males, 70% were whites and 42% occurred to adults ranging in age from 35-64. The most common injury was trauma to the lower limbs (34%). One critical data element necessary in safety programming is determining the cause of these injuries. Hospital data do not answer causal questions. However, these data do highlight questions that need to be addressed to provide the necessary information to both educate and increase awareness for the rural residents of South Carolina.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.63-76. Illus. 11 ref.
Tractor-drawn mower occupational fatalities in production agriculture, 1992-1997
Data on occupational fatalities while using tractor-drawn mowers in the agricultural sector in the United States from 1992-1997 were analysed. There were 126 deaths, including 32% from tractor overturns and 29% as a result of falling from the tractor or being struck by the farm equipment. The majority of workers fatally injured were self-employed (98 deaths, 77%). Fatalities were concentrated in the South (67 deaths, 53%) and the Midwest (40 deaths, 32%). The crude fatality rate was 1.0 death per 100,000 workers (crop production 1.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, livestock production 0.4 deaths per 100,000 workers). Workers 65 years and older reported the most fatalities (62 deaths, 49%), for a rate of 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. This analysis shows that an average of 21 workers die each year from this single work activity. Prevention strategies should address roll over protective structures (ROPS), older workers and hazard awareness.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.53-62. Illus. 17 ref.
Meyers J.M., Miles J.A., Faucett J., Janowitz I., Tejeda D.G., Weber E., Smith R., Garcia L.
Priority risk factors for back injury in agricultural field work: Vineyard ergonomics
Data from injury report logs from three California vineyards identified 29 cases of reported musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) and 435 lost workdays in a working population of 194 in a 30-month period. 20 of these involved backstrain. High risk job tasks were identified by the employers and through the analysis of injury reports and the ergonomics risk factor checklist survey. These three data groups resulted in the identification of high priority tasks, including hand harvest work, hand pruning, and weeding using shovels. The most important risk factors for back injury in these jobs were repetitive lifting of heavy loads, repetitive exertion of force by the trunk and upper extremities, and repetitive or sustained awkward postures of the trunk (including full stoop and twisting with loads).
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.37-52. 49 ref.
Schneiders S., Donham K., Hilsenrath P., Roy N., Thu K.
Certified safe farm: Using health insurance incentives to promote agricultural safety and health
Telephone interviews and self-administered questionnaires were used to collect information on health insurance premiums, co-insurance rates and deductibles from 260 farmers in northwest Iowa, USA. Data were also collected on the injury and illness experiences of the subjects. 39% of primary farm operators and 63.5% of spouses worked off the farm. Of those who worked off-farm, 30% of the primary operators had coverage through their off-farm employer, and 27% of the spouses received health insurance through their off-farm employer. There was no significant relationship between the cost of coverage and the number of health care visits. However, persons with off-farm employer-sponsored coverage had significantly lower premiums than those without off-farm coverage. Additionally, those with family coverage from an off-farm employer had significantly lower deductibles. Implications for use of health insurance premium reductions as an incentive for safe farms are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.25-36. Illus. 8 ref.
Ergonomics in agriculture: Commentary and literature review
Review of published literature on the topic of ergonomics in agriculture, including musculoskeletal disorders, ergonomic improvements and ergonomic interventions.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.1, p.7-16. 41 ref.
Use of pesticides and personal protective equipment by applicators in a Kenyan district
Thirty randomly-selected farmers in the Garissa district of Kenya were interviewed to assess their safe working methods with pesticides, in particular with respect to their knowledge, attitudes and practices. All participants were male, of average age 23 years. 83% had no formal education. Half of the participants had used pesticides for a period of five years or more. The most frequently-used insecticides were carbamates (53%), pyrethroids (30%) and Kelthane (organo-chlorine, 17%). Only 17% of the participants used masks, mostly improvised. Among the reasons for not wearing masks, 40% mentioned the heat and 36% the expense, while 24% were unaware of the importance of masks. 77% of the respondents had experienced illness as a result of using pesticides.
African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, Dec. 2001, Vol.11, No.3, p.74-76. 11 ref.
Muchiri F.K., Forastieri V., Oldershaw P.J., Macha M., Rwazo A., Mkalaga H., Regoeng K.G., Amweelo M., Bruce T.F., Chithila A.
This journal focuses on occupational safety and health (OSH) issues of interest to African countries. Among the topics covered in this issue devoted to agriculture: improving OSH services in the agricultural sector; the ILO programme on safety and health in agriculture; encouraging prevention; OSH considerations in the retail sale of pesticides in Tanzania; OSH in the agricultural sector in Botswana, Namibia and Ghana; description of a fatal accident in Malawi during boiler maintenance.
African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, Aug. 2001, Vol.11, No.2, p.31-51 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Park H., Sprince N.L., Whitten P.S., Burmeister L.F., Zwerling C.
Farm-related dermatoses in Iowa male farmers and wives of farmers: A cross-sectional analysis of the Iowa farm family health and hazard surveillance project
Agricultural workers are exposed to a variety of hazards that increase their risk of dermatitis. Nevertheless, the prevalence, patterns, and risk factors for dermatitis have not been well characterized among farmers in the United States. The prevalence and risk factors for dermatitis among 382 male farmers and 256 wives of farmers in Iowa were assessed using a cross-sectional study design. From 1992 to 1994, data on potential risk factors and dermatitis were collected. The results showed that 9.6% of male farmers and 14.4% of wives of farmers reported dermatitis during the previous 12-month period. In multivariable models, a history of allergy (odds ratio (OR), 8.2) was strongly associated with dermatitis among male farmers. Among wives of farmers, some college education (OR, 3.4) and exposure to petroleum products (OR, 3.1) were associated with dermatitis. These results can be used to undertake preventive efforts in controlling farm work related exposures.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2001, Vol.43, No.4, p.364-369. Illus. 19 ref.
Mustajbegovic J., Zuskin E., Schachter E.N., Kern J., Vrcic-Keglevic M., Vitale K., Ebling Z.
Respiratory findings in livestock farmworkers
The prevalence of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function were investigated in 236 (169 male and 67 female) livestock farm workers. The prevalence of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms was recorded by means of a questionnaire. Lung function was measured by recording the maximum expiratory flow-volume curves. There was a high prevalence of almost all chronic respiratory symptoms in farmers: highest among men for chronic cough (27.2%) and highest among women for dyspnoea (28.3%). Occupational asthma was diagnosed in 3.6% of the men and 1.5% of the women. A large number of workers of both sexes complained of acute work-related symptoms, highest for dry cough (52.2%) and shortness of breath (44.9%). Lung function data among these workers demonstrated a trend toward lower lung function in general. Analysis reveals significant effects of length of employment and smoking in male and length of employment in female livestock farm workers.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2001, Vol.43, No.6, p.576-584. 51 ref.
Park H., Sprince N.L., Lewis M.Q., Burmeister L.F., Whitten P.S., Zwerling C.
Risk factors for work-related injury among male farmers in Iowa: A prospective cohort study
Agriculture is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. In this population-based prospective study, the work-related injury rate and risk factors among 290 Iowa male principal farm operators was investigated. Baseline data were collected between 1991 and 1994, and injury events were surveyed during the autumn of 1995. Cumulative incidence of farming work-related injuries during the previous year was 10.5%. It was found that the factors giving rise to the highest incidence of farming work-related injuries were depressive symptoms (odds ratio 3.22) and the number of hours working with animals (odds ratio 2.14).
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2001, Vol.43, No.6, p.542-547. 31 ref.
Ngowi A.V.F., Maeda D.N., Wesseling C., Partanen T.J., Sanga M.P., Mbise G.
Pesticide-handling practices in agriculture in Tanzania: Observational data from 27 coffee and cotton farms
The practices of pesticide handling in agriculture were surveyed in 1991-1993 in Tanzania. The study involved 23 coffee farms with 246 persons exposed to hazardous practices, and four cotton farms with 45 exposed. A greater variety of pesticide formulations were used for coffee than for cotton, and by individual rather than cooperative farms. Coffee farms more often had unlabelled pesticide containers and missing mixing instructions. Cotton pesticides were found to be stored in bedrooms, near food and near open fires. Hazardous practices were more pronounced on individual than cooperative farms, with significant differences in pesticide storage areas, as well as in the use of unlabelled and non-original containers. The study demonstrated the need to train farmers in pesticide safety, strengthen advisory and regulatory services, and extend protection to farm workers' families.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2001, Vol.7, No.4, p.326-332. Illus. 13 ref.
Kunstadter P., Prapamontol T., Sirirojn B.O., Sontirat A., Tansuhaj A., Khamboonruang C.
Pesticide exposures among Hmong farmers in Thailand
Farmers of the Hmong ethnic minority in Thailand have abandoned shifting cultivation of subsistence crops and turned to chemical-intensive cultivation of permanent field cash crops. Three Hmong communities were studied. Most study participants applied chemicals, primarily to control insects, weeds, and fungus, by backpack and machine sprays and by hand. Hmong women have less Thai language skill than men and less information concerning hazards of exposure or use of protective clothing. Most Hmong know of the health hazards, but many fail to use adequate protective clothing to prevent exposure. Screening revealed a high proportion of Hmong adults with unsafe levels of cholinesterase inhibition, an indicator of exposure to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. Exposure rates were as high among those not directly applying pesticides, suggesting that exposure also occurs by other routes.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2001, Vol.7, No.4, p.313-325. Illus. 12 ref.
Das R., Steege A., Baron S., Beckman J., Harrison R.
Pesticide-related illness among migrant farm workers in the United States
Medical surveillance data show that pesticide-related illness is an important cause of acute morbidity among migrant farm workers in California. A few categories (organophosphates, carbamates, inorganic compounds, and pyrethroids) account for over half of the cases of acute illness. Skin effects dominate the illnesses, although ocular and systemic effects are also common. Pesticide hazards should be ranked based on acute toxicity, chronic toxicity (including reproductive risks), carcinogenic potency, volume applied, and magnitude of worker poisonings. Risk prevention should focus on substitution of safer compounds, establishing effective protections, and ensuring that these measures are enforced. Improved education for health care providers should be a priority. Growers should be educated about alternative forms of pest control and incentives should be provided to encourage their use.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2001, Vol.7, No.4, p.303-312. 79 ref.
Aragón A., Aragón C., Thörn Å.
Pests, peasants and pesticides on the Northern Nicaraguan Pacific plain
The objective of this study was to explore possible reasons for dangerous work practices during pesticide handling among small-scale farmers in the Pacific plain of Nicaragua. Areas of focus included personal protective equipment, information and farmers' perceptions with respect to their crops, the economy, pests, and pesticide hazards. Factors such as poverty, the inadequacy of protective devices and environmental factors were found to lead to dangerous work practices. Cultural factors also affected the farmers' attitudes in ways that favored hazardous work procedures. This finding, which had not been anticipated, has important practical implications. To be effective, the design, language, execution and materials of education and training courses on occupational health should be culturally relevant and appropriate.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2001, Vol.7, No.4, p.295-302. Illus. 28 ref.
Hwang S.A., Gomez M.I., Stark A.D., Lowery St. John T., May J.J., Hallman E.M.
Severe farm injuries among New York farmers
Data from the telephone interview portion of the New York State Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance were used to study the incidence and predictors of severe farm injury. 1,706 participants completed two telephone interviews in which they reported all injuries over a 12-month period. 9% of participants reported at least one severe farm injury. Using logistic regression the significant risk factors for sustaining at least one severe farm injury are younger age, the presence of hearing loss or joint trouble, working more hours per day, being the owner/operator of the farm, and being from a farm with higher gross sales. There needs to be continuing education of all farmers as to the risks of injury. However, when resources are limited, it is recommended that injury education and interventions in this farming population should target younger farmers, those who work longer hours, owner/operators, farmers from higher gross sales farms, with special attention to farmers who have physical impairments.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2001, Vol.40, No.1, p.32-41. 20 ref.
Hwang S.A., Gomez M.I., Sobotova L., Stark A.D., May J.J., Hallman E.M.
Predictors of hearing loss in New York farmers
Data from the telephone interview portion of the New York Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance were used to study self-reported hearing loss in New York farmers. 1,622 persons completed the hearing loss and noise exposure interview. Hearing loss was defined as at least some trouble hearing in one or both ears. Predictors of hearing loss were determined using logistic regression. 22% of participants reported hearing loss. From the logistic regression, significant confounders are age, sex, being from a livestock farm, and loss of consciousness due to head trauma. Significant noise exposures are more hours of lifetime exposure to noisy farm equipment and having had a noisy non farm job, with or without hearing protection. In conclusion, farm noise exposure is a serious risk to the hearing of this population. Although use of hearing protection should be encouraged, replacing and modifying farm equipment to decrease noise at the source should be the first priority.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2001, Vol.40, No.1, p.23-31. 29 ref.
Aplin C.G., Lovell C.R.
Contact dermatitis due to hardy primula species and their cultivars
It is widely believed that of all the Primula species to cause allergic contact dermatitis, P. obconica is the most likely culprit, particularly in Northern Europe. Other species are rarely implicated, probably as a consequence of under-reporting. Moreover, cutaneous reactions to other hardy Primula species and cultivars are milder and may be associated with a state of tolerance after repeated handling. 462 questionnaires were sent out to Auricula and Primula growers and 316 replies were returned with data on 320 growers. 84 out of a total of 320 (26.25%) attributed a cutaneous reaction to Primula species, whereas 236 (73.75%) reported no reaction. Of the 84 who reported reactions, 48 suspected P. auricula, 34 P. obconica, 10 P. vulgaris, 5 P. allionii, 3 P. marginata and 2 P. forrestii. 19 believed that they had reacted to 2 or more species of Primula. The study suggests that Primula species other than P. obconica may elicit dermatitis more frequently than previously recorded.
Contact Dermatitis, Jan. 2001, Vol.44, No.1, p.23-29. Illus. 18 ref.
Wesseling C., Hogstedt C., Fernandez P., Ahlbom A.
Time trends of occupational pesticide-related injuries in Costa Rica, 1982-1992
To evaluate time trends of occupational pesticide-related injuries in Costa Rica, accidents reported among wage-earning workers during the months of June of the years 1982, 1987, and 1992 were analysed. The overall incidence rates were 1.8, 2.7, and 2.5 per 1,000 agricultural workers, respectively. Rates among female workers increased (3.1, 3.7, 5.4) and were elevated as compared with male workers (1.7, 2.6, 2.3). The trend for topical lesions was upgoing (1.2, 1.4, 2.1), consistent with an increased use of fungicides and lack of safety measures for pesticides with low acute toxicity. Systemic poisonings peaked in 1987 (0.6, 1.2, 0.5), declining in 1992 with increased use of biologic pest control and pyrethroid insecticides less toxic than cholinesterase inhibitors, and improved safety during nematocide applications on banana plantations.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jan.-Mar. 2001, Vol.7, No.1, p.1-6. Illus. 21 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Fatal injuries in farming, forestry and horticulture 2000-2001
This is a report on the 53 reportable fatal injuries that occurred in the agricultural sector (comprising farming, forestry, horticulture and associated industries) in the United Kingdom from April 2000 to March 2001. Statistical data are given by region, by main activity in the agricultural sector and by accident cause. Short descriptions of each fatal accident are provided. An analysis of the trend of fatal injuries for the period 1995/96 to 2000/01 and case studies showing what went wrong and how the accident could have been avoided are presented. Previous report: see CIS 01-456.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, July 2001. vi, 55p. Illus.
Petrelli G., Lauria L., Figà-Talamanca I.
Occupational exposures and male fertility: Results of an Italian multicentre study in exposed populations
Esposizioni occupazionali e fertilità maschile: Risultati di uno studio italiano multicentrico tra popolazioni esposte [in Italian]
Report on a study on the fertility of couples where the men were occupationally exposed to three different kinds of toxic substances with effects on reproduction. Fertility was evaluated during the time that elapsed between attempting and achieving the first pregnancy of the couples. Data were collected from 153 workers of a mint (exposed to metal and solvents), 322 agricultural workers licensed to handle pesticides and 127 greenhouse workers, as well as from comparable non-unexposed groups of workers. Results suggest that workers exposed to metals, solvents and the agricultural and greenhouse workers exposed to pesticides experienced a delay in conception at the time of their wives' first pregnancy, although the delay was statistically significant (OR=2.4; 95% CI=1.2-5.1) only for greenhouse workers with heavy exposure (>100hrs of application time per year) to pesticides.
Medicina del lavoro, Sep.-Oct. 2001, Vol.92, No.5, p.307-313. Illus. 26 ref.
Hazards associated with using farm tractors to move large bales
In the mid 1970s, standard small-bale balers began to be replaced by large-bale balers in the agricultural industry. The chance of serious injury or death to workers grows with the size and weight of the bales, and bales that weigh more than 750 pounds put workers at high risk. Contents of this information note on hazards associated with using farm tractors to move large bales: statistics; risk factors; description of three accidents; measures to be implemented by farm owners and farm workers to reduce the risk of injury and death.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998, USA, July 2001. 4p. Illus. 4 ref.
Steward P.C., O'Neill D.H.
Health and Safety Executive
PTO shaft guards: Alignment of standard quality control in testing and manufacture
The objective of this study was to propose revisions to the current standard for testing the resistance of tractor power take-off shaft guards, taking into account the effect of UV radiation, dust and salt on the plastic material from which the guard is made, as well as new guard designs. Several recommendations are made, which are to be discussed in a working group prior to submitting them as possible revisions to the current ISO 5674 standard.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2001. iv, 36p. Illus. 12 ref. Price: GBP 10.00.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2001/crr01323.pdf [in English]
Melbostad E., Eduard W.
Organic dust-related respiratory and eye irritation in Norwegian farmers
To study the relationship between exposure to organic dust and work-related symptoms, 8,482 farmers and spouses were surveyed. Task-related respiratory and eye symptoms were recorded by questionnaire. Personal exposure to total dust, fungal spores, bacteria, endotoxins and ammonia during 12 different tasks was measured in a random sample of 127 farms. The prevalence of work-related symptoms occurring "often" was 31% and "seldom" 35%. Task mean exposures ranged from 0.04 to 2mg dust/m3, 0.02 x 106 to 2 x 106 fungal spores/m3, 0.2 x 106 to 48 x 106 bacteria/m3, 0.5 x 103 to 28 x 103 endotoxin units/m3, and 0 to 8 ppm ammonia. Task mean exposure levels were positively correlated with task-specific symptom prevalences for total dust, fungal spores and endotoxins, but not for bacteria and ammonia.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2001, Vol.39, No.2, p.209-217. Illus. 24 ref.
Ji B.T., Silverman D.T., Stewart P.A., Blair A., Swanson G.M., Baris D., Greenberg R.S., Hayes R.B., Brown L.M., Lillemoe K.D., Schoenberg J.B., Pottern L.M., Schwartz A.G., Hoover R.N.
Occupational exposure to pesticides and pancreatic cancer
To investigate the relationship between pancreatic cancer and exposure to pesticides, a case-control study was conducted in three separate areas of the United States, involving 484 cases aged 30-79 diagnosed in 1986-1989 and 2,095 controls drawn from a random sample of the general population. A job-exposure matrix (JEM) approach was used to estimate the level of occupational exposure to pesticides. A significant trend in risk with increasing exposure level of pesticides was observed, with odds ratios (OR) of 1.3 and 1.4 for low and moderate-high exposure levels, respectively. Excess risks were found for occupational exposure to fungicides (OR = 1.5) and herbicides (OR = 1.6) in the moderate-high level after adjustment for potential confounding factors. An increased risk for insecticide exposure was no longer significant after adjustment for fungicide and herbicide exposures. Results suggest that pesticides may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, and highlight the need for further research to evaluate the risk of exposure to specific chemicals.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Jan. 2001, Vol.39, No.1, p.92-99. 45 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Stay safe on the farm
Aimed at children aged 5-11 years, the objective of this booklet is to promote safety on the farm. It provides safety information in an interesting and stimulating way and is designed to teach basic rules in a fun manner.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2000. 16p. Illus.
Work-related fatalities involving tractors in Australia, 1989 to 1992
This report on work-related fatalities involving tractors 1989 to 1992 is part of a larger study of all work-related traumatic fatalities in Australia during this period. 144 persons (132 males and 12 females) were fatally injured during this period in separate incidents involving tractors, which account for 5,7% of all work-related deaths. Statistics are given by duty context, age group, jurisdiction, site and activity at the time of the fatal incident and type of incident. Scenarios of the accident and contributing factors are analysed. Recommendations are made regarding equipment safety and design, maintenance of machinery, safe working practices and procedures, training and information.
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC), GPO Box 58, Sydney NSW 2001, Australia, July 2000. viii, 88p. Illus. 17 ref.
http://www.nohsc.gov.au/PDF/Statistics/report_tractors.pdf [in English]
Jafry T., O'Neill D.H.
The application of ergonomics in rural development: A review
This article highlights the importance of ergonomic issues in rural development. Some examples are given of the contributions that ergonomics have already made in the industrial sector of developing countries. Key areas for future ergonomics research are identified, focusing on the agricultural sector and on the needs of communities living and working in rural areas, where most of the population of developing countries resides.
Applied Ergonomics, June 2000, Vol.31, No.3, p.263-268. Illus. 38 ref.
Mehta C.R., Tewari V.K.
Seating discomfort for tractor operators - A critical review
This article consists of a literature review of published studies on the evaluation of tractor seat comfort and suitability. Various parameters, including the body pressure distributed by the buttocks, thighs and the back of drivers, control of posture in static or dynamic conditions, ride vibration, task exposure times and other factors have been proposed. However, in the absence of more definite and logical biomechanical criteria, researchers will continue to design conditions and procedures to understand the seat dynamics and evaluate seating discomfort. A procedure for the assessment of seat discomfort during tractor driving is proposed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 2000, Vol.25, No.6, p.661-674. Illus. 43 ref.
García A.M., Orts E., Esteban V., Porcuna J.L.
Experts' assessment of probability and level of pesticide exposure in agricultural workers
The occupational history of the parents of 261 Spanish infants with congenital malformations and 261 matched controls was collected. Preceding the birth of their child, 183 of the parents had been involved in agricultural activities, 49% of them directly in the application of pesticides. Two experts assessed the probability and level of exposure to a number of pesticides. Inter-rater agreement was estimated. In the analysis of some categories of exposure (non-applicators, herbicides) there was very low inter-rater agreement. Since in epidemiological studies a detailed product-by-product assessment of pesticide exposure is needed for the investigation of the health effects of pesticides, there is clearly a need for research on the application of experts' judgments in this area.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2000, Vol.42, No.9, p.911-916. 24 ref.
Prevention strategy - Safety and health protection in small agriculture and forest enterprises
Estratégia de prevenção - Segurança e saúde no trabalho nas pequenas explorações agrícolas e florestais - Problemas e soluções [in Portuguese]
Aimed at workers on small agricultural and forestry enterprises, this booklet lists the various problems and hazards they may be confronted with and proposes solutions and preventive measures, the most common being proper training. Main topics covered: risks to children; basic and refresher training; training of wives of agricultural workers; work of elderly persons; seasonal workers; safety of buildings; use of machinery; forestry workers; chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial hazards; personal protective equipment; occupational safety and health legislation. Portuguese-language version of an ISSA publication originally in English, French and German.
Associação de Agricultura da Associação Federal de Sociedades Agrícols (AISS), Weissensteinstrasse 72, Kassel, Germany, . 36p. Illus.
Pendergrass S.M., Krake A.M., Jaycox L.B.
Development of a versatile method for the detection of nicotine in air
Nicotine is present in environmental tobacco smoke and is used as a greenhouse insecticide. Exposure to nicotine can result in adverse health effects as nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, tachycardia, hypertension, convulsions and cardiac arrhythmia. This paper describes the development of an improved sampling and analytical methodology for nicotine, capable of accommodating the wide spread of nicotine levels and sampling requirements necessary to evaluate exposures among diverse occupational groups such as casino workers, airline flight attendants or greenhouse employees. A XAD-4 sorbent tube was selected for the collection of airborne nicotine. Analytical methodology for the separation, identification and quantification of nicotine by gas chromatography followed by either flame ionization detection or by nitrogen and phosphorous detection is described. This new method was published in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods.
AIHA Journal, July-Aug. 2000, Vol.61, No.4, p.469-472. Illus. 9 ref.
What went wrong? A film about industrial accidents on the farm
In this videotape of a programme which was showns on television in 2000, four farm workers explain occupational accidents which they experienced and their consequences. The advice given to these farm workers by a safety and health specialist is also presented.
Sectoral Working Environment Councils Farm to Table, Jordbrigets Arbejdsmiljøudvlag, Torsøvej 7, 8240 Risskov, Denmark, 2000. VHS/PAL video, duration: 27 min.
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