Objectives: This longitudinal study measured the glyphosate and paraquat concentrations found in maternal and umbilical cord serum in 82 pregnant women who gave birth in three provinces of Thailand. Methods: Through questionnaires and biological samples collected at childbirth, factors such as personal characteristics, family members occupation, agricultural activities, and herbicide use in agricultural work were evaluated as predictors of glyphosate and paraquat levels in the pregnant women. Statistical analysis used univariate and binary multiple logistic regression, where the outcome was the probability of exposure to paraquat or glyphosate above the limit of detection associated with occupation and household factors. Results: The glyphosate concentrations in the pregnant women's serum at childbirth (median: 17.5, range: 0.2-189.1 ng/mL) were significantly higher (P LOD in serum at childbirth were 11.9 times more likely to report work as an agriculturist (P < .001), 3.7 times more likely to live near agricultural areas (P = .006), and 5.9 times more likely to have a family member who worked in agriculture (P < .001). The only factors affecting paraquat exposures in pregnant women at childbirth were reporting the agricultural activity of digging in farm soil and working in the agricultural fields in the third trimester of pregnancy. Conclusions: These results show that pregnant women who work in agriculture or live in families that work in agriculture have higher exposures to the herbicides glyphosate and paraquat. The potential for long-term health impacts of these prenatal exposures to children should be evaluated, and greater regulation of the sale and use of herbicides should be considered in Thailand.
The objective of this study was to identify significant risk factors for agricultural injury based on the literature. The authors conducted a systematic review of commonly reported risk factors. Studies that reported adjusted odds ratio (OR) or relative risk (RR) estimates for the selected risk factors were identified from PubMed and Google Scholar. Pooled risk factor estimates were calculated using meta-analysis. A total of 441 (PubMed) and 285 (Google Scholar) studies were found in the initial searches; of these, 132 and 78 studies, respectively, met the selection criteria for injury outcomes, and 32 of these reported adjusted OR or RR estimates. One study was excluded because it did not meet the set Newcastle-Ottawa Scale quality criteria. Finally, 31 studies were used for meta-analysis. The pooled ORs for the risk factors were as follows: male gender (vs. female) 1.68, full-time farmer (vs. part-time) 2.17, owner/operator (vs. family member or hired worker) 1.64, regular medication use (vs. no regular medication use) 1.57, prior injury (vs. no prior injury) 1.75, health problems (vs. no health problems) 1.21, stress or depression (vs. no stress or depression) 1.86, and hearing loss (vs. no hearing loss) 2.01. All selected factors except health problems significantly increased the risk of injury, and they should be (a) considered when selecting high-risk populations for interventions, and (b) considered as potential confounders in intervention studies.
Epidemiological evidence suggests that pesticides and other environmental exposures may have a role in the etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). However, there is little human data on risk associated with specific pesticide products, including organic pesticides such as rotenone with PD. Using a case-control design, this study examined self-reports of exposure to pesticide products, organic pesticides such as rotenone, and other occupational and environmental exposures on the risk of PD in an East Texas population. The findings demonstrated significantly increased risk of PD with use of organic pesticides such as rotenone in the past year in gardening (OR = 10.9; 95% CI = 2.5-48.0) and any rotenone use in the past (OR = 10.0; 95% CI = 2.9-34.3). Use of chlorpyrifos products (OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.02-3.8), past work in an electronics plant (OR = 5.1; 95% CI = 1.1-23.6), and exposure to fluorides (OR = 3.3; 95% CI = 1.03-10.3) were also associated with significantly increased risk. A trend of increased PD risk was observed with work history in paper/lumber mill (OR = 6.35; 95% CI = 0.7-51.8), exposure to cadmium (OR = 5.3; 95% CI = 0.6-44.9), exposure to paraquat (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 0.4-31.6), and insecticide applications to farm animals/animal areas and agricultural processes (OR = 4.4; 95% CI = 0.5-38.1). Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and fish intake were associated with reduced risk. In summary, this study demonstrates an increased risk of PD associated with organic pesticides such as rotenone and certain other pesticides and environmental exposures in this population.
: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data have shown that agriculture, forestry, and fishing as an occupational group have the third highest rate of work-related roadway crashes. Agriculture-related crashes have been explored in the Midwest and South; however, we know little about agriculture-related crashes in the Northeast, especially in New York. : To better understand this, researchers obtained motor vehicle crash data from 2010 to 2012 from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV). These data were then filtered to agriculture-related cases by both vehicle registration type and vehicle body type. : We identified 203 agriculture-related vehicle crashes, involving 381 vehicles and 482 people. Of the agriculture incidents, 91.6% caused property damage, while 36.0% caused injury. The case fatality rate for roadway vehicle crashes was nearly five times as great (2.0/0.4 = 5.00) for agriculture versus non-agriculture crashes (p = 0.0003). : Using these data as a supplement to the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health's existing surveillance system provided information useful in setting priorities involving roadway safety.
: The mental health of young people has become a public health priority in recent years. Many early symptoms of mental health disorders first appear during adolescence. The aim of this study was to develop a contemporary profile of the mental health of Canadian adolescent girls from farms and determine whether they differed from girls with non-farm backgrounds. : Cross-sectional analyses of an established, school-based survey, the (2014) were conducted. Study subjects were adolescent girls who reported living or working (n = 1,346) and not living or working (n = 13,158) on a farm and attending schools in rural, small, medium and large/metropolitan centers. Scales examining positive (prosocial behaviour, life satisfaction) and negative (psychological problems, overt risk-taking) mental health indicators were compared between the two groups of girls by grade and community size. : Both farm and non-farm girls in upper grades reported lower life satisfaction scores and higher scores for psychological problems and overt risking-taking compared to girls in lower grades. By community size, girls from farms in the most rural schools reported more positive mental health than non-farm girls, with the exception of overt risk-taking, where girls in grades 9-10 from the most rural backgrounds reported markedly higher levels of risk-taking, particularly girls from farms. : This study identified differences in mental health of girls from farms as community size increases, with more positive indicators among girls in the most rural communities. However, across all community sizes, overt risk-taking was higher in girls from farms. Thus, it appears that agrarian culture and norms have both protective and negative effects on the mental health of girls from farms.
: We explored the short-term impact of pesticide exposure on asthma exacerbation among children with asthma in an agricultural community. : We obtained repeated urine samples from a subset of 16 school-age children with asthma (n = 139 samples) as part of the Aggravating Factors of Asthma in a Rural Environment (AFARE) study cohort. Biomarkers of organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure (dialkylphosphates (DAPs)), and asthma exacerbation (leukotriene E4 (uLTE4)) were assessed in urine samples. We used generalized estimating equations to examine the association of summed measures of creatinine-adjusted DAPs (total dimethyl alkylphosphate (EDM), total diethyl alkylphosphate (EDE), and total dialkylphosphate pesticides (EDAP)) and uLTE4 concentration, adjusting for multiple confounders, yielding beta-coefficients with 95% CIs. : A total of 139 observations were obtained from the 16 children over the study period, the total number of samples per subject ranged from 1 to 12 (median: 10.5). The geometric mean (GM) of creatinine-adjusted EDE, EDM, and EDAP in this population were 81.0, 71.8 and 168.0 nmol/g, respectively. Increase in uLTE4 levels was consistently associated with increased exposures to DAPs (interquartile range in μg/g): β : 8.7 (95%CI: 2.8, 14.6); β : 1.1 (0.5, 1.7); β : 4.1 (0.7, 7.5). : This study suggests that short-term OP exposure is associated with a higher risk of asthma morbidity, as indicated by increased uLTE4 levels in this cohort of children with asthma in an agricultural community. Additional studies are required to confirm these adverse effects, and explore the mechanisms underlying this relationship.
: The hazardous nature of the agricultural environment, reflected in the numerous injuries and deaths to children who live, work and play on farms, coupled with the lack of a comprehensive national surveillance system in the United States, highlights the need for making the best use of publicly available youth agricultural injury data. : The purpose of this study was to describe a 3-year collection of youth agricultural injuries using the publicly available injury and fatality data from AgInjuryNews.org and present recommendations for future injury prevention strategies. : Data were obtained from AgInjuryNews.org, a web-based collection of U.S. news reports of agricultural injuries. We analyzed cases from 2015 to 2017 for youth aged 0-17. We classified injuries as occupational and non-occupational related, based on the Farm and Agricultural Injury Classification (FAIC) code. Each case was also coded for source and event using the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS). : Of the 348 injury reports reviewed, 51% were fatal, and about one-third of the victims were 6 years old or younger. Most injuries were non-occupational, and the most frequent injury sources were vehicles (includes tractors and all-terrain vehicles) and machinery. Youth operators, extra riders, roadway operations, and unsupervised youth playing near or in a worksite were four key contributing factors associated with vehicle and machinery related injuries. : This study reaffirms that youth agricultural-related injuries and fatalities are still a persistent problem in the United States. The hypothesis generating AgInjuryNews system can provide more current data than traditional surveillance datasets as a tool for understanding the sources of youth agricultural injuries, monitoring injury trends, and informing policy efforts and prevention strategies. Future studies should continue to explore and evaluate the comprehensiveness of this system's data and the impact of its dissemination, as well as similar rural health informatics solutions for integration into sustainable interventions that can be customized and delivered domestically and abroad.
Development of a state-wide comprehensive surveillance system for non-fatal work-related farm injuries, since non-fatal injuries that occur to the self-employed (i.e., many farm owners/operators), family workers, federal government workers and small farms with fewer than 11 employees are not included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics employer-based survey used to produce the U.S. National statistics of work-related injuries. In 2015 and 2016, inpatient discharge summaries, emergency department, and hospital-based outpatient clinic records from all 134 of Michigan's hospitals with ICD-9 codes 989.0-.1, E827.0-.9, E849.1, E906.8, E919.0 or ICD-10 codesT65.0-.1, V80, Y92.7, W55.1-.4, W30 were reviewed to identify non-fatal work-related farm injuries. We identified 1,559 non-fatal work-related farm injury incidents that occurred in 1,525 individuals, with 74% being among men. The most common parts of the body injured were an upper limb (38.2%) and a lower limb (23.7%). The most common types of injury were contusions (26.4%) and fractures (19.9%). Owners/operators accounted for 44.1% and hired hands for 42.9% of individuals injured. Injuries caused by cows were the predominant cause: 472 (31.5%) of all the injuries. Dairy farms accounted for 39.6% of all cases for which the farm type was recorded. A comprehensive system to identify non-fatal work-related farm injuries among all individuals who work on a farm, including owner/operators, family members and migrant and seasonal farm laborers, was implemented using hospital, emergency department and hospital-based outpatient clinic medical records. Such a system is important to be able to identify hazards and target prevention.
In a farmer, a diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) might cause drastic changes in life, and guidance concerning future prospects within farming requires a best possible etiological diagnosis. We aimed to assess (1) if immunological analyses based on material samples from the work environment could be used to improve the etiologic diagnosis in a farmer suffering from HP, and (2) if combining a longitudinal immunological investigation of workplace material with a realistic work place inhalation challenge could be used to optimize counselling with respect to further employment within farming. A realistic workplace inhalation challenge was performed to explore potential associations between exposure, symptoms and immune responses. Material samples were collected from various places on the farm, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed to identify possible IgE and IgG antibodies in patient serum towards these material samples. Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblot were used to detect the specific proteins in the material samples that were recognized by ELISA. The patient's symptoms were reproduced by the workplace challenge, and more severe symptoms were associated with increased serum levels of specific IgG antibodies towards material samples from the workplace. The immunoblot detected IgG binding proteins in agreement with known allergens of the fungi Alternaria and Pullularia. Combining realistic workplace challenge with immunological analyses of workplace material may improve the basis for counselling farmers with farmer´s lung concerning future work within farming.
Pesticide applicators (PAs) are potentially at high risk for developing heat-related illnesses (HRI). To identify HRI burden and potential targets for preventive interventions, a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of PAs from North Eastern Italy. The study inquired about HRI knowledge and relative risk perception as cumulative sum scores and behavioral adaptations, including the use of sun protective equipment, both as dichotomous factors and cumulative scores. Participants rated the frequency of HRI symptoms during the previous warm season: three or more occurring at least once/month defined HRI status. Association of individual/behavioral factors with HRI status was assessed through binary regression analysis by calculating odds ratios (OR) with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). A linear regression analysis was performed assuming the sum of symptoms as the outcome variable. Participating in the survey was 131 Pas (81.7% males; mean age 46.5 ± 13.9 years). Although knowledge status was good (73.6%±18.1), risk perception was quite low (34.4%±16.9). HRI status was reported by 41.2% of participants, and was associated with manual hoeing/weeding (OR:8.847 95%CI 1.882-41.579), pesticide application (OR:2.975 95%CI 1.185-42.035), and rests in shady, not air-conditioned areas (OR:5.491 95%CI 1.372-21.971); while in regression analysis the sum of sun protective habits was the only negative predictor for the sum of reported symptoms (B -0.014, 95%CI -0.235 to -0.026, p = 0.014). Our results stress the opportunity for raising the risk perception of PAs through specifically tailored interventions. The use of sun-protective equipment should be promoted as an effective method to counter HRI symptoms.
Organic farming has been promoted in Thailand by King Rama the ninth. In addition to being healthier for consumers, organic farming is healthier for agricultural workers. The cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the frequency of chronic disease conditions, accidents, health symptoms, and ergonomic problems among 243 conventional (pesticide using) farmers and 235 organic farmers. Data were collected using questionnaires in face-to-face interviews. The results indicated symptoms that could be related to pesticide exposure (skin rashes, water blisters, headache, dizziness, and loss of appetite) were significantly higher among conventional farmers than organic farmers. The organic farmers reported significantly more health symptoms such as hives, chest pain, mild fever, flatulence, and frequent urination than the conventional farmers. The organic farmers reported significantly more pain, numbness, or weakness in the wrists/hands, fingers, upper back, hips, and ankles/feet than conventional farmers.
Objectives: To perform an ergonomic analysis of work and machinery-related risks in a group of Swedish older farmers, investigating farmers' attitudes and perceptions about: 1) health status and work motivation, 2) physical and cognitive workload and difficulties in the interaction with machinery and technological innovations, and 3) risks and safety practices. Methods: Nine Swedish male farmers aged 65+ were administered a semi-structured interview and a questionnaire. Results: Participants perceived themselves as being in good health and considered farming as a good proxy of their health status. They reported an increased physical workload but did not describe any cognitive workload. Technology was reported to have low usability, and thus its benefits cannot be fully exploited. Older farmers acknowledged the existence of "new risks" related to the aging process and mainly referred to the common sense and previous experience as the best safety practices. Conclusion: Multilevel interventions focused on the capabilities and limits of the older farmers should be developed, involving both training activities and design solutions for the machinery that can support older farmers' health and safety.
Situation awareness has been identified as a key skill in maintaining safety in high-risk, dynamic industries. However, there is a lack of research evaluating situation awareness requirements and error types in agricultural operators. The aim of this study was to explore situation awareness among farmers in the United Kingdom (UK) when operating heavy agricultural machinery. The study used an online qualitative survey to collect data in three main areas: situation awareness requirements, factors impacting situation awareness, and the safety context for UK farmers. A total of 57 farmers completed the survey, responding to seven open-ended questions. Data were analyzed using directed content analysis. The results indicate the importance of situation awareness for safe and efficient work practice in farming. Situation awareness requirements span the machinery system, including awareness of internal cab systems and the status of implements attached to the external machine. Farmers needed to map and monitor the surrounding conditions in addition to considering personal requirements. Data also indicated the impact of a range of factors, including system-based elements such as blind spots, individual factors such as level of fatigue, and issues related to a lack of knowledge and failure to think ahead on the maintenance of situation awareness. This research highlights the situation awareness requirements for operating agricultural machinery in complex and dynamic environments. By taking a human factors approach, utilizing design and practical interventions, it may be possible to both support and enhance farmer situation awareness and, therefore, reduce errors and adverse incidents.
Objectives: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highway transportation crashes are the number one cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. The rate of fatal crashes in logging far exceeds the average annual rate for all sectors combined, yet few studies examine logging-related transportation crashes, and little is known about factors influencing the frequency of these crashes. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with fatal and nonfatal injuries among drivers involved in a single vehicle logging-related crash in Louisiana. Methods: All crashes involving a single logging vehicle from 2010 to 2015 were extracted from a dataset provided by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Descriptive statistics were computed to characterize crashes by person, vehicle, and environmental factors. A multiple logistic regression model was constructed to identify variables associated with driver injury (fatal and non-fatal). Results: There were 361 crashes involving a single logging vehicle from 2010 to 2015 in Louisiana. Variables associated with driver injury included no seat belt use (OR = 3.23; 95% CI = 1.47-7.10), a violation issued for careless operation of the vehicle (OR = 3.23; 95% CI = 1.40-7.46), a harmful event classified as cargo or equipment loss or shift (OR = 2.47; 95% CI = 1.27-4.82), and a harmful event classified as the vehicle running off the road to the left (OR = 2.29; 95% CI = 1.12-4.70). Conclusion: Injury prevention efforts in the logging industry in Louisiana, including commercial vehicle licensing procedures, could benefit from additional driver training to improve crash avoidance skills and careless driving, seat belt use, and methods for securing loads.
Partial results of a NIOSH-funded study for "Protecting the Logging Workforce: Development of Innovative Logging Techniques for a Safer Work Environment" by a team of researchers at Oregon State University are presented that review safety in steep slope logging. Comparisons are made for hazards and exposures of "conventional" and new technologies for steep slopes. Hazards of new technologies are identified. Safety assessments are addressed for forestry sectors internationally, for the firm and for workers. Important questions of technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental performance are raised. Ongoing research on operators using tethered and untethered systems are described. Results will help inform training and selecting operators. New Best Operating Practices and safety code regulations will result from the research. New technologies will reduce worker hazards and exposures for steep slope logging.
Background: Logging is recognized as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States (US), ranking among those with the highest occupational injury and fatality rates. Although logging operations in the Southeastern US have lower rates of injuries and fatalities compared to other regions of the US, due in part to the use of large machinery to fell timber as opposed to chainsaw felling, safety hazards continue to persist. The hazards present in the logging cut sites in which loggers operate may result in worker injury, illness, or fatality. Our objective was to develop, deliver, and evaluate a safety management and leadership training among logging contractors and supervisors using mobile tablets as a personal learning environment. Methods: A safety leadership and management training vignette was developed based on previously collected focus group needs assessment data. A non-random sample of 31 male logging supervisors received the safety leadership and management training on a mobile tablet. Kirkpatrick Levels 1, 2, and 3 training effectiveness evaluations were performed. Results: A statistically significant large effect size suggests safety knowledge was gained among training participants when comparing post-test scores to pre-test scores (Level-2). Participants rated their training experience favorably (Level-1), and applied knowledge gained from the training throughout their weekly work activities three months after training (Level-3). Conclusion: Our findings suggest the utilization of mobile learning techniques can be an effective means to deliver safety management and leadership training content to logging contractors and supervisors. Future trainings should be linguistically and literacy-level appropriate, as well as comprehensive in nature, including meaningful and relevant content. Our observations support the use of mobile devices as just one component of a more comprehensive health and safety management program for workers in the logging industry.
Background: The U.S. logging sector is among the most dangerous industrial sectors, with high fatality and non-fatal injury rates. Limited research has addressed work-related musculoskeletal disorders among logging machine operators (LMOs). The purpose of this study was to estimate the 12-month prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and the associated work-related risk factors among LMOs in the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (Ark-La-Tex) logging region. Methods: A self-administered 93-item questionnaire with six different sections: (1) demographics, (2) lifestyle and medical background, (3) work experience, (4) job training, (5) occupational heat-related stress, and (6) occupational injuries and MSS was administered to LMOs (n = 88) using Qualtrics Mobile Survey Software®. Poisson regression models were used to estimate crude prevalence ratios (PR), adjusted PR [aPR], and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results: Regarding organizational, ergonomic, and handling equipment occupational factors and 12-month MSS prevalence, the adjusted model controlled for age, BMI, smoking status, and drinking status. For organizational, the most problematic factors for the lower back were performing a task over and over (63.2%) and working very fast, for short periods (60.0%). For ergonomics, the most problematic factor for the lower extremities was awkward or cramped conditions (58.1%) and for the lower back was bending/twisting back awkward (55.9%). Last, for handling equipment, the most problematic for both the lower back and lower extremities was handling or grasping small objects (57.1%). Conclusion: Our findings revealed associations between work-related MSS and specific job factors (e.g., organizational, ergonomic, handling equipment, etc.), extreme environmental conditions or environmental, and personal risk factors. In particular, study findings suggest lower back and lower extremities MSS are associated with the a majority of job-related risk factors, lower extremities with extreme environmental conditions, and neck and upper back with personal risk factors.
Harvesting timber for lumber produces is among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. While not exhaustive, the literature on these dangers is substantial. However, several other smaller harvesting forest based industries put workers at risk in unique ways. Relatively little research has been published on these activities, but preliminary exploratory research, summarized here, suggests that besides the risks inherent in being in the forest, workers face some unique workplace risks, the frequency and consequences of which are augmented by the social determinants that characterize the workforce. This paper provides a brief overview of the workplace safety risks to forest green and mushroom harvesters and cedar block cutters in the Northwest. We also point out the social characteristics of these workforces that potentially aggravate these risks and the health impacts therefrom.
The incidence of large, uncontained wildfires in North America has increased in recent years, significantly impacting both urban and agriculturally-focused areas. The physical damage and health pressures left in the wake of uncontrolled fires has especially devastated farm and ranch operators in affected areas, prompting concern from the community of healthcare providers and advocates servicing this specialized occupational population. The AgriSafe Network, a leading health advocacy organization centered in agricultural health, conducted an interactive webinar with nationally recognized knowledge thought leaders as a response to this crisis. Results identified primary, action-critical issues as an initiatives roadmap for future focused precision research and targeted educational efforts. Think tank initiatives provide intelligible guidance that can lead to tractable interventions for agricultural populations effected by wildfires.