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Respiratory protection for use against organic dusts.

Lenhart SW; Reed LD
Principles of health and safety in agriculture. Dosman JA, Cockcroft DW, eds., Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc., 1989 Oct; :193-196
The question as to whether air purifying respirators protect against overexposure to organic dusts was considered in the context of a discussion of respiratory protection against organic dusts. Clinical and laboratory studies have produced conflicting results about whether this type of respirator can provide protection for healthy and sensitized workers against organic dusts. For example, a study of 12 persons with pigeon breeders disease found that the condition of one patient who continued his exposure to organic dusts with the use of a negative pressure respirator deteriorated into a permanent pulmonary injury. A case report of another patient who had experienced many episodes of pigeon breeders disease attributed to exposure to organic dusts revealed that he was able to handle his racing pigeons without any problems while wearing a respirator. The confusion and contradictions found in the reports was thought to be due to improper respirator selection, especially since dust exposure concentrations were seldom reported. None of the studies provided any information about user training or fit testing prior to the respirators being used. Recommendations for future research directed toward assessing the ability of air purifying respirators to protect against organic dusts were discussed. The authors conclude that studies should focus on determining in/facepiece exposures experienced by agricultural workers working in environments containing airborne organic dusts and the severity of any acute or chronic effects associated with these exposure. Reliable information on dose response relationships and workplace protection factors is also needed.
Organic-dusts; Air-purifying-respirators; Case-studies; Health-protection; Pigeon-breeders-disease; Agricultural-workers; Clinical-tests
Publication Date
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Dosman JA; Cockcroft DW
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Principles of health and safety in agriculture
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division