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Dust exposures in manual harvest of California citrus and grapes.
Lee-K; Schenker-M; Lawson-R; Southard-R; Saiki-C; Olenchock-S; Vallyathan-V; Thorne-P
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :6-7
Agricultural workers are exposed to high dust levels. Although organic compounds of particulates have been a center of focus, it has been suggested that the inorganic fraction may be just as important for agricultural exposure in relatively dry climates, such as in California. Workers performing manual harvest of citrus and grapes in California were exposed to a mixture of inorganic and organic dust. Total dust exposure in citrus harvesting (geometric mean of 39.3 mg/m3) was higher than in grape production (3.5 mg/m3). The exposures to total dust and respirable quartz in citrus harvesting exceeded those in grapes harvest by factors ranging from five to ten and similar to those seen in mechanized agriculture. The ratios of respirable quartz to respirable dust were similar in both crops. Exposures to endotoxin in citrus harvest (geometric mean of 249 EU/m3) were significantly higher than in grapes harvest (11 EU/m3). However, the viable bacteria and fungi were slightly higher in orange production (6,300 CFUs/m3 for bacteria and 6,200 CFUs/m3 for fungi) than grape production (8,700 CFUs/m3 for bacteria and 11,000 CFUs/m3 for fungi). Inorganic distribution of foliar dust samples was similar to that of airborne dust. Respirable quartz in air and soil showed weak correlation. The degree of energetic contact with foliage appeared to be a significant determinant of exposure level in harvest. Little is known about the health effects of exposures to such complex dust mixtures. Considered independently, exposures to respirable quartz and endotoxin in citrus harvest were high enough to cause respiratory health effects.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Workers; Work-environment; Dusts; Dust-exposure; Organic-dusts; Organic-compounds; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Manual-materials-handling; Respirable-dust; Respiration; Exposure-levels; Quartz-dust; Endotoxins; Bacteria; Fungi
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
CA; WV; IA; OH
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division