Department of Public Health Sciences


May, J.J. and M.B. Schenker

IN: Occupational and environmental respiratory disease. Harber P, Schenker MB, Balmes JR ED. 617-636. Mosby. St. Louis. 1995.

Those who work in agriculture are at risk for a variety of other health problems. Farmers and farmworkers have particular problems with dermatologic diseases, including cancers, which are often related to ultraviolet light exposure, zoonosis, and contact dermatitis. These individuals also experience higher rates of osteoarthritis than non-farmers. Finally, these individuals, particularly farm owners and operators, have substantially increased rates of suicide when compared with non-farm populations. Despite this litany of significant occupational health problems, respiratory disease remains one of the most common and important issues for those working in the agricultural field. The remainder of this chapter will review characteristics of this work environment that represent particular hazards and their impact on the respiratory health of the agricultural worker. It will become apparent to the reader that much remains to be learned about respiratory disease. This is particularly true in the case of farmworker populations where few studies of respiratory disease have been reported. The majority of the existing data is derived from clinic-based or convenience samples of farmworkers.

Close Window

UC Davis Health System is pleased to provide this information for general reference purposes only. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice. You are urged to consult with your health care provider for diagnosis of and treatment for any health-related condition. The information provided herein may not and should not be used for diagnosis and treatment.

Reproduction of material on this web site is hereby granted solely for personal use. No other use of this material is authorized without prior written approval of UC Regents.