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Mitchell, Diane; Arteaga, Veronica; Armitage, Tracey; Mitloehner, Frank; Tancredi, Daniel; Kenyon, Nicholas; Schenker, Marc
The objective of this study was to compare respiratory health of poultry workers in conventional cage, enriched cage and aviary layer housing on a single commercial facility, motivated by changing requirements for humane housing of hens. Three workers were randomly assigned daily, one to each of conventional cage, enriched cage, and aviary housing in a crossover repeated-measures design for three observation periods (for a total of 123 worker-days, eight different workers). Workers' exposure to particles were assessed (Arteaga et al. J Agromedicine. 2015;20:this issue) and spirometry, exhaled nitric oxide, respiratory symptoms, and questionnaires were conducted pre- and post-shift. Personal exposures to particles and endotoxin were significantly higher in the aviary than the other housings (Arteaga et al., 2015). The use of respiratory protection was high; the median usage was 70% of the shift. Mixed-effects multivariate regression models of respiratory cross-shift changes were marginally significant, but the aviary system consistently posted the highest decrements for forced expiratory volume in 1 and 6 seconds (FEV1 and FEV6) compared with the enriched or conventional housing. The adjusted mean difference in FEV1 aviary - enriched cage housing was -47 mL/s, 95% confidence interval (CI): (-99 to 4.9), P = .07. Similarly, for FEV6, aviary - conventional housing adjusted mean difference was -52.9 mL/6 s, 95% CI: (-108 to 2.4), P = .06. Workers adopting greater than median use of respiratory protection were less likely to exhibit negative cross-shift pulmonary function changes. Although aviary housing exposed workers to significantly higher respiratory exposures, cross-shift pulmonary function changes did not differ significantly between houses. Higher levels of mask use were protective; poultry workers should wear respiratory protection as appropriate to avoid health decrements. PMID:26237715
Tutor-Marcom, Robin; Greer, Annette; Clay, Maria; Ellis, Tammy; Thompson, Tami; Adam-Samura, Esther Seisay
In 2007, the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS) published Agritourism Health and Safety Guidelines for Children to provide helpful recommendations for protecting the health and safety of children visiting agritourism farms. Supplement A: Policies and Procedures Guide and Supplement B: Worksite Guide were subsequently published in 2009 and provided agritourism farms with checklists to use in reviewing, planning, and implementing their own health and safety practices. In order to better understand what would be required of a farm wishing to implement the guidelines using Supplements A and B, the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute conducted a single-family farm demonstration project with support from the NCCRAHS. The aims of the project were to (1) determine child health and safety risks associated with an existing agritourism farm; (2) determine the cost of making improvements necessary to reduce risks; and (3) use project findings to motivate other agritourism farms, Cooperative Extension agents, and agritourism insurers to adopt or recommend Agritourism Health and Safety Guidelines for Children for their own farms or farms with which they work. At the conclusion of the study, the target farm was in compliance with an average of 86.9% of items in Supplements A and B. Furthermore, 89% of individuals self-identifying as farmers or farm workers and 100% of Cooperative Extension agents and agritourism insurers attending an end-of-project workshop indicated their intent to adopt or recommend Agritourism Health and Safety Guidelines for Children for their own farms or farms with which they work. PMID:23540301