Fatality Investigation Report: Orchard Tractor Operator Run Over by Rotarty Mower

mowerA new Fatality Investigation report has been published by the Washington FACE Program, in which a tractor operator fell and was run over by a mower attachment between rows of pear trees.  View the full report here.

Heat Safety Tips from Washington L&I for Outdoor Work

summer heatWashington State L&I provides a number of resources to help keep employees safe from heat related illness during the warm summer months:

L&I Outdoor Heat Exposure Page

Link to online video: Heat: A Dangerous Combination (available in English & Spanish)

OSHA-NISOH Heat Safety Tool app can be used to plan outdoor work based on the heat index throughout the day

New Review of Epidemiological Studies on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Farmers

Farmer_and_the_Livestock_(6139558944)[1]The authors concluded that farmers are at greater risk of developing COPD, with livestock farmers having the highest risk.  Potential responsible exposures include organic dusts, endotoxins, mites, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.

Source: PubMed abstract

Association Between Pesticide Profiles and IQ in Children

The authors evaluated the possible effects of multiple pesticides on children’s IQs when applied near maternal residences in agricultural areas.  For one of the eight pesticide profiles there was a significant association with IQ.  The authors also found that there was the potential for sub-additive effects between pesticides.

Source: PubMed Abstract

New Study of Parkinsonism Symptoms in Washington Pesticide Handlers

Published in the Journal of Agromedicine by researchers from Washington University, UW, UC-SD, and University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa).   The researchers concluded, “Symptoms and signs of parkinsonism were absent to mild in this small sample of active workers who apply cholinesterase-inhibiting insecticides in Washington State, USA. Future studies should be larger, and examine older, retired workers with greater cumulative exposure to agricultural pesticides at work and home, including other types of agricultural pesticides.”

Source: PubMed Abstract

Review: Use of Job-Exposure Matrices to Estimate Pesticide Exposures

This review article concerns estimation of occupational exposure to pesticides in epidemiology studies.  The authors state, “we reviewed all existing matrices assessing occupational exposure to pesticides in epidemiological studies and described the exposure parameters they included.”  The authors discuss two types of matrices, their validity, and their usefulness in quantifying cumulative exposures.

Source: PubMed abstract