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Personal Protective Equipment and Health

Farmer safety information regarding respiratory hazards, heat illness, protective gear, and pesticides.

Much of the air that farmers breathe is dirty and sometimes lethal. Farmer’s Lung and Organic Dust Toxicity Syndrome (ODTS) are names given to two farm occupational diseases caused by inhaling airborne mold spores. Silo Unloaders Syndrome is another name for ODTS because the condition often occurs during the unloading or uncapping of silos.

Farming is filled with respiratory hazards: pesticide vapors, dusty fields, dangerous hydrogen sulfide accumulations in manure pits and pump sumps, nitrogen dioxide in conventional silos, and many others.

The National Safety Council estimates that approximately 120,000 agricultural workers suffer disabling injuries each year.

Farm workers should be familiar with the signs of heat illnesses.

Tractors, forage harvesters, silage blowers, chain saws, skid-steer loaders, grain dryers, squealing pigs and guns are some of the most typical sources of noise on the farm. Studies suggest that lengthy exposure to these high sound levels have resulted in noise induced hearing loss to farmers of all ages, including teenagers.