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Press Releases at EMSL

Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/11/2018
Author Alexandra Gentile
Title Industrial Agriculture and Occupational Exposure to Organic Dusts
Introduction EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers air testing services to identify organic dusts, asthma triggers, allergens and respiratory irritants.

Cinnaminson, NJ, June 11th, 2018

In late March, the Journal-Courier published a story about the growing number of agricultural workers that are beginning to recognize the respiratory issues so many suffer from are often related to their environmental exposures at work. The article highlights cases and discusses various organic dusts that farmers and ranchers may be exposed to on the job.

One of these conditions, known as organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), is an acute respiratory illness found in agricultural workers who inhale organic dusts contaminated with microorganisms. ODTS was recognized in the 1980s and is a general term that can refer to such conditions as mill fever, grain fever, pulmonary mycotoxicosis and various other conditions. 

Organic dust toxic syndrome is typically characterized by fever occurring 4 to 12 hours after exposure. Flu-like symptoms, such as general weakness, headache, chills, body aches, cough and shortness of breath may also occur. ODTS usually disappears within 24 hours to a few days after a person is removed from exposure to the organic dusts. Repeated episodes of ODTS can occur after re-exposure to contaminated organic dusts.

“Some estimates have put the occurrence of ODTS with farmers at about 6 to 8% of the workforce,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Other reports have listed up to 30% or grain and swine confinement workers may be affected with the condition. Symptoms are also frequently reported by workers in the poultry and mushroom industries. As industrial agricultural operations continue to grow in the United States, ODTS and other airborne occupational exposure concerns are becoming more recognized by environmental, health and safety professionals.” 

Dedicated to helping agricultural workers identify and monitor organic dusts and other airborne pollutants are the environmental experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL offers comprehensive air testing services, all of the sampling supplies needed to collect and submit samples, air monitoring instruments to test for particulate matter and other areas of concern, and a wide range of personal protective equipment (PPE). Several years ago, EMSL even sponsored an educational video about organic dust toxic syndrome that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/bAOJ4_EnNrk.   

To learn more about air quality testing and monitoring or other environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675. 

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 44 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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