Pulmonary function reductions among potentially susceptible subgroups of agricultural workers in Colorado and Nebraska

Stephen J. Reynolds, Maggie L. Clark, Niels Koehncke, Susanna G Von Essen, Linda Prinz, Thomas J. Keefe, John Mehaffy, Mary Bradford, Brian Cranmer, Margaret E. Davidson, Ivana V. Yang, James B. Burch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Organic dust inhalation has been associated with adverse respiratory responses among agricultural workers. We evaluated factors that may confer increased susceptibility to these health effects. METHODS: We quantified personal work shift exposures to inhalable dust, endotoxin, and its 3-hydroxy fatty acid constituents, and evaluated changes in pulmonary function among 137 grain elevator, cattle feedlot, dairy, and corn farm workers. RESULTS: Increased dust exposure was associated with work shift reductions in lung function. Although interpretation is limited because of small samples, a suggestion of stronger exposure-response relationships was observed among smokers, as well as workers reporting pesticide/herbicide application, asthma, or allergies, and those with genetic polymorphisms (TLR4) (Pinteraction ≤ 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of factors leading to increased susceptibility of adverse respiratory outcomes is needed to optimize exposure reduction strategies and develop more comprehensive wellness programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-641
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this