Request for Assistance in Preventing Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 94-102
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), an acute respiratory illness in agricultural workers who inhale contaminated organic dust. This Alert describes four case reports in which a total of 29 agricultural workers developed ODTS following inhalation of organic dusts contaminated with microorganisms. Information about ODTS is urgently needed by agricultural workers and employers, cooperative extension agents, rural veterinarians, physicians, and other health care providers. NIOSH therefore requests that editors of trade journals, safety and health officials, labor unions, and agricultural employers bring this Alert to the attention of all workers who are at risk. Your assistance in this effort will help prevent occupational disease among the 3.4 million agricultural workers in the United States-one of the stated goals of the 1991 Surgeon General’s Conference on Agricultural Safety and Health [DHHS 1992].