The effect of exposure to dust in the health status of grain elevator (SIC-4221) and mill (SIC-0723) workers is reviewed. Clinical syndromes found among various workers are listed and the role of grain dust components such as plant and insect debris, plant and animal hair, pollen, fungi spores and insecticide residues, is discussed. Previously reported clinical studies are reviewed. Data on worker exposures and area sampling results in grain processing facilities is included. The author recommends additional studies to document the components of grain dust, the fraction of respirable airborne dust, and measures to prevent potential health problem. Medical studies should determine early signs of respiratory disease, the effects of age, employment history and smoking habit, and epidemiologic variations in grain handlers disease.
NIOSH, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, 17 pages, 33 references