Dusts and other particulate matter and other biological exposures

Author:International Labour Organization
Pages:93-110
 
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Meetings-MESHA-Final Code-2010-10-0355-1-En.doc/v2 93
Emergency Response Guide
Chemical Name: Date:
Common Name: ...................................................................................................................
Stored In: ................................................................ CAS No................................
Features: (Smells / looks like etc) ..................................................................................................
Personal Protection Required:
Special First Aid:
If This Happens:
Do This:
Fire
On Skin
In Eyes
Swallowed
Inhaled
Spills
Phone / Contact: Master C S D S N:
94 Meetings-MESHA-Final Code-2010-10-0355-1-En.doc/v2
11. Dusts and other particulate matter and
other biological exposures
11.1. Summary
11.1.1. Agricultural production involves the generation of a variety of dusts and
biological exposures that present potential hazards to the health of workers. These include
dusts and other particulate matter, animal waste, zoonoses, needle-stick injuries, bites and
stings as well as vector-borne diseases in the agricultural environment. Each of these
categories of hazard is discussed below under the headings:
1. Hazard description;
2. Risk assessment;
3. Elimination of the hazard;
4. Control of the hazard at source through engineering controls or organizational
measures;
5. Minimization of hazards by the design of safe work systems and procedures; and
6. The use of PPE.
11.2. Dusts
11.2.1. Hazard description
11.2.1.1. Dusts are generated in the production of various grains, legumes and other
field crops. Dusts are most frequently generated during such processes as preparing seed
for planting, harvesting, cleaning, primary processing, bagging and transporting crops to
market. Dusts may include components such as straw, bagasse, husks of grain, mould
fungal and bacterial residues, bioaerosols, endotoxin, pesticide residues, fumigants, and
particles of silica. The above listing is illustrative and non-exhaustive.
11.2.1.2. Other forms of dusts are associated with the production of birds, swine and
other livestock, which may take place in outdoor and/or indoor production facilities. Such
dust may include particles of straw and grain, faecal matter, bacteria, microtoxins,
endotoxin, moulds, fungi, animal hair, feathers, pollen and other substances.
11.2.1.3. The size of inhaled particles may be very small less than 100 microns
and therefore may be capable of penetrating to the deepest levels of the lungs and causing
a variety of breathing problems. The lungs of workers can be affected by exposure to
harmful agents through acute (short-term) injury to the lung, or the development of long-
term injury such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, organic dust toxic
syndrome, and acute allergic alveolitis, also known as ―farmer’s lung‖.
11.2.1.4. Podoconiosis is a disease of people who work barefoot, particularly on red
clay soil in the neighbourhood of volcanoes, especially at altitude. Tiny micro particles of
silica from the volcanic soil penetrate the skin and inflame the lymphatic system. It is
preventable by the wearing of shoes.

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