Thursday, October 8, 2009

Farmers Lung

"Farmers lung has always concerned me. I am subject to it so I try to be very aware of it.
Farmer's lung, not to be confused with silo-filler's disease, is a hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by the inhalation of biologic dusts coming from mouldy hay or other agricultural products.[1] The immune response is most often initiated by exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes, which generates IgG-type antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream. Following a subsequent exposure, IgG antibodies combine with the inhaled allergen and form immune complexes. These complexes are deposited in the lung and generate an inflammatory response typical of a type III hypersensitivity response."

The question came up on the Crop Forum of NewAgTalk and I thought that should be my subject today.

Here is what I replied to one farmer.

"That is the problem Ken. We don't know how badly crop mold affects the farmers lungs.

All molds scare me but don't keep me from farming or eating. My cousin married a lung doctor but he is too busy helping those already infected to give much advice.

I don't know how you farm unless you live under a mask and none of us are willing to do it until we get really sick. Then some won't do it.

I have done a good job protecting my workers when they will listen to me. Most figure something is going to kill me so they keep on doing the wrong thing or they are less subject to mold etc. That should be the subject of my next blog."

Grain dust and farm allergens have always been a problem and I think they always will.

I remember getting cortisone shots as a young man when my lungs would plug tight and you would think you were dying.

Still, I love farming so much I can't quit. Some day I may have to.

You can't run to the city or Arizona to run away from your problems.

People have to eat and someone will supply the food.

I love supplying that food.

Ed Winkle

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