COPD in farmers: what have we learnt?
Originally Published In
European Respiratory Journal
Farming is a complex occupation, comprising a spectrum of activities that range from small-scale hobby farms to large-scale corporate farms. The activities, and thus the occupational exposures, on a farm are dictated by the type and size of the farm, as well as cultivation practices . The farmers themselves are also diverse, living and working on farms alone or with family members or employees, working seasonally, or working at nonfarming occupations but returning home to farms that demand their labour. With heterogeneity on so many levels, it is no wonder that characterising exposures and identifying occupational hazards for agricultural workers has been daunting. Even more difficult has been measuring the burden of disease in farming populations when a specific hazard has been identified.