Pulmonary Function Reductions Among Potentially Susceptible Subgroups of Agricultural Workers in Colorado and Nebraska

Objective: Organic dust inhalation has been associated with adverse respiratory responses among agricultural workers. We evaluated factors that may confer increased susceptibility to these health effects.
Methods: We quantified personal work shift exposures to inhalable dust, endotoxin, and its 3-hydroxy fatty acid constituents, and evaluated changes in pulmonary function among 137 grain elevator, cattle feedlot, dairy, and corn farm workers.
Results: Increased dust exposure was associated with work shift reductions in lung function. Although interpretation is limited because of small samples, a suggestion of stronger exposure–response relationships was observed among smokers, as well as workers reporting pesticide/herbicide application, asthma, or allergies, and those with genetic polymorphisms (TLR4) (Pinteraction ≤ 0.05).
Conclusions: A better understanding of factors leading to increased susceptibility of adverse respiratory outcomes is needed to optimize exposure reduction strategies and develop more comprehensive wellness programs.

Source : Reynolds, Stephen J. PhD, CIH; Clark, Maggie L. PhD; Koehncke, Niels MD; von Essen, Susanna MD, MPH; Prinz, Linda MSN, RN; Keefe, Thomas J. PhD; Mehaffy, John MS; Bradford, Mary; Cranmer, Brian MS; Davidson, Margaret E. PhD; Yang, Ivana V. PhD; Burch, James B. PhD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 5 - p 632–641.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824d2e1c

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