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1007 PD: The plain facts about farmer health

Published on 27 September 2007

•Farmers are often exposed to toxic gases.

Manure storage and silo gases are often found on farms as the result of manure decomposition or crop storage. These gases can result in asphyxiation, irreversible lung damage and lingering respiratory problems.

•Farmers and ranchers are often exposed to damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Researchers have documented an increased incidence of skin cancer among farmers who work in the sun for prolonged periods without the benefit of protective clothing or sunscreen.

•Farmers and ranchers are often exposed to damaging noises and sounds.

Hearing loss is prevalent among farmers who are exposed to loud and continuous noise from machinery and equipment which has not been properly maintained or when proper hearing protection is ignored.

•Farmers and ranchers are at risk for respiratory diseases.

Farmers and ranchers who raise livestock in confinement housing often suffer from organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS). These ailments are caused by toxins and dusts in livestock confinement facilities.

•Farmers may be exposed to hazardous agricultural chemicals.

Agricultural pesticides and anhydrous ammonia are among the chemicals which can cause serious acute or chronic health problems. Many agricultural workers fail to wear protective equipment when handling agricultural chemicals.  PD

—From National Safety Council – Agricultural Safety website

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