Advertisement

Farmers and Farmworkers

  • Radoslaw Spiewak
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Farming is among occupations with the highest risk of occupational skin disease (OSD). Up to one-third of farmers complain of work-related skin problems. The incidence of OSD in farmers may be four times higher than in non-farming occupations and up to forty times higher than incidence of occupational respiratory diseases. Farm work-related hazards to the skin include irritants, haptens and allergens of plant, animal, microbial and chemical origin, infectious microbes, parasites, and carcinogens. Farm work-related exposures are complex and variable, which makes them difficult to identify, define, measure, and analyze in objective scientific terms and thus results in major difficulties when assessing the causal relationship between farm work and skin disease. In many countries self-employed farmers do not undergo prophylactic (preemployment or periodic) health checks, which significantly compromises the possibility of primary and secondary prevention of OSD in farmers.

As traditional farms combine functions of work place and dwelling, farmer’s children become exposed to occupational hazards in early life, which may lead to the development of farm work-related OSD even before their first formal employment. Risk factors for early developing of a farm work-related skin disease are presented in order to enable identification of people at particular risk of occupational skin disease.

Keywords

Farmers Agriculture Occupational hazards Occupational skin diseases Work-related dermatoses 

References

  1. Alfonso JH, Bauer A, Bensefa-Colas L et al (2017) Minimum standards on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of occupational and work-related skin diseases in Europe – position paper of the COST action StanDerm (TD 1206). J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31(Suppl 4):31–43CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Arcury TA, Grzywacz JG, Barr DB et al (2007) Pesticide urinary metabolite levels of children in eastern North Carolina farmworker households. Environ Health Perspect 115:1254–1260CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Baran RL (1974) Nail damage caused by weed killers and insecticides. Arch Dermatol 110:467CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bauer A, Geier J, Mahler V, Uter W (2015) Contact allergies in the German workforce: data of the IVDK network from 2003–2013. Hautarzt 66:652–664. (In German)CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bener A, Lestringant GG, Beshwari MM, Pasha MA (1999) Respiratory symptoms, skin disorders and serum IgE levels in farm workers. Allerg Immunol Paris 31:52–56PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Blair A, Freeman LB (2009) Epidemiologic studies in agricultural populations: observations and future directions. J Agromedicine 14:125–131CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Cellini A, Offidani A (1994) An epidemiological study on cutaneous diseases of agricultural workers authorized to use pesticides. Dermatology 189:129–132CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Chatzi L, Alegakis A, Kruger-Krasagakis S, Lionis C (2006) Skin symptoms and work-related skin symptoms among grape farmers in Crete, Greece. Am J Ind Med 49:77–84CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cole DC, Carpio F, Math JJ, Leon N (1997) Dermatitis in Ecuadorean farm workers. Contact Dermatitis 37:1–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Demers P, Rosenstock L (1991) Occupational injuries and illnesses among Washington State agricultural workers. Am J Public Health 81:1656–1658CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Do TT, van der Hoek W, Nguyen DT et al (2007) Skin disease among farmers using wastewater in rice cultivation in Nam Dinh, Vietnam. Trop Med Int Health 12(Suppl 2):51–58PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gamsky TE, McCurdy SA, Wiggins P et al (1992) Epidemiology of dermatitis among California farm workers. J Occup Med 34:304–310CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Hue L, Makhloufi S, Sall N’Diaye P et al (2016) Real-time mobile teledermoscopy for skin cancer screening targeting an agricultural population: an experiment on 289 patients in France. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 30:20–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kearney GD, Lea CS, Balanay J et al (2013) Assessment of sun safety behavior among farmers attending a regional farm show in North Carolina. J Agromedicine 18:65–73CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Mahler V, Aalto-Korte K, Alfonso JH et al (2017) Occupational skin diseases: actual state analysis of patient management pathways in 28 European countries. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 31(Suppl 4):12–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. McCurdy SA, Wiggins P, Schenker MB et al (1989) Assessing dermatitis in epidemiologic studies: occupational skin disease among California grape and tomato harvesters. Am J Ind Med 16:147–157CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Mitchell J, Rook A (1979) Botanical dermatology. Plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Greengrass, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  18. Moullan M, Ahossi V, Zwetyenga N (2016) Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJSTEN) related to insecticide: second case in the literature and potential implications. Rev Stomatol Chir Maxillofac Chir Orale 117:176–182. (in French)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Schmidt RJ (2010) BoDD: the botanical dermatology database. http://www.botanical-dermatology-database.info/. Accessed on 15 Nov 2017
  20. Spiewak R (2001) Skin diseases related to farm work – a questionnaire survey of 145 Polish farmers in Lublin Region. Post Dermatol Alergol 18:194–199. (In Polish)Google Scholar
  21. Spiewak R (2002a) Occupational dermatoses in farmers. Czelej, Lublin. (In Polish)Google Scholar
  22. Spiewak R (2002b) Occupational dermatoses in agriculture: epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, risk factors. Czelej, Lublin. (In Polish)Google Scholar
  23. Spiewak R (2003) Occupational dermatoses among Polish private farmers, 1991–1999. Am J Ind Med 43:647–655CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Spiewak R (2004) Occupational rhinoconjunctivitis, protein contact dermatitis, asthma and contact urticaria to cow allergens in a farmer. Allergologie 27:402–407. (In German)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Spiewak R, Dutkiewicz J (2002) Occupational airborne and hand dermatitis to hop (Humulus lupulus) with non-occupational relapses. Ann Agric Environ Med 9:249–252PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Spiewak R, Dutkiewicz J (2004) A farmer’s occupational airborne contact dermatitis masqueraded by coexisting rosacea: delayed diagnosis and legal acknowledgement. Ann Agric Environ Med 11:329–333PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Spiewak R, Skorska C, Gora A et al (2001a) Young farmers with cellular reactivity to airborne microbes suffer more frequently from work-related skin symptoms and allergic dermatitis. Ann Agric Environ Med 8:255–259PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Spiewak R, Gora A, Dutkiewicz J (2001b) Work-related skin symptoms and type I allergy among eastern-Polish farmers growing hops and other crops. Ann Agric Environ Med 8:51–56PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Susitaival P (1996) Epidemiological study of hand dermatoses and other skin diseases in a cohort of Finnish farmers. Thesis. Kuopio University, KuopioGoogle Scholar
  30. Susitaival P, Husman L, Horsmanheimo M et al (1994) Prevalence of hand dermatoses among Finnish farmers. Scand J Work Environ Health 20:206–212CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Susitaival P, Merchant JA, Hoylman-Henning B et al (1998) Skin disease and prick test results in rural Iowa. J Invest Dermatol 110:200Google Scholar
  32. Susitaival P, Beckman R, Samuels SJ, Schenker MB (2004) Self-reported dermatitis and skin cancer in California farm operators. Am J Ind Med 46:136–141CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Swaen GM, van Amelsvoort LG, Slangen JJ, Mohren DC (2004) Cancer mortality in a cohort of licensed herbicide applicators. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 77:293–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Wood A (2010) Compendium of pesticide common names. http://www.alanwood.net/pesticides/. Accessed on 15 Nov 2017
  35. Yeboue-Kouame BY, Vagamon B, Tchicaya A et al (2010) A case of Stevens Johnson’s syndrome in an ivorian farmer: what imputability to pesticides? Arch Mal Prof Environ 71:117–121. (in French)Google Scholar
  36. Zakharov S, Csomor J, Urbanek P, Pelclova D (2016) Toxic epidermal necrolysis after exposure to dithiocarbamate fungicide mancozeb. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 118:87–91CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Faculty of PharmacyJagiellonian University Medical CollegeKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Institute of DermatologyKrakowPoland

Personalised recommendations