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NIOH and NIOSH basis for an occupational health standard: grain dust: health hazards of storing, handling, and shipping grain.

Brown MA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-126, 1988 Jun; :1-63
Health effects associated with occupational exposure to grain dust were reviewed. Epidemiological studies have indicated that grain dust is associated with respiratory symptoms such as cough, dyspnea, rhinitis, wheezing, and chronic airway obstruction as well as with nonpulmonary disorders such as conjunctivitis, grain fever, and dermatitis. A risk of chronic obstructive and restrictive pulmonary disease was noted in workers with chronic exposure to grain dust. Immunologic mechanisms may cause the adverse health effects seen in grain workers as evidenced through epidemiologic and animal studies. Although several animal studies have examined the mechanisms of response to grain dust, the modeling approaches taken do not study the same physiologic parameter of response. It was not impossible to recommend an exposure concentration at which all workers would be protected due to the immunologic response manifested in some individuals. The author concludes that reducing exposure to grain dust will decrease the exposure to the agents in grain dust that elicit these adverse health effects. Preemployment medical screening including pulmonary function tests would be helpful in counseling workers about their predisposition to adverse respiratory symptoms.
NIOSH-Author; Grain-elevators; Plant-dusts; Grain-dusts; Grain-elevator-workers; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-function; Lung-disease; Airway-obstruction; Airway-resistance; Author Keywords: Grain dust; cough; wheezing; asthma; chronic bronchitis; farmer's lung; obstruction; restriction; rhinitis; grain fever
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-126
NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division