|Health & Safety-90
Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators
Marc B. Schenker,MD, MPH, Div. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine, ITEH, UCD School of Medicine
David F. Goldsmith, PhD, Div. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine, ITEH, UCD School of Medicine
Stephen McCurdy, MD, MPH, Div. of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine, ITEH, UCD School of Medicine
Little is known about the respiratory health of farmers compared to other
segments of the population. In response to concerns about whether silica
fibers emitted during rice straw burning pose a health threat, a special
study was commissioned by the Rice Research Board.
Staff from the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine worked with UC Cooperative Extension personnel to survey rice growers and their workers. Representatives from the medical school encouraged participation in the survey at grower meetings held during February 1991 in Gridley, Yuba City, Pleasant Grove, Robbins, Colusa, Maxwell, Willows and Glenn.
Those agreeing to participate in the survey were given a questionnaire to be completed before appointments for X-ray and pulmonary function tests, which were to be taken in UCD's mobile medical clinic. The goal was to develop a sample size of 700 to 1,000 farmers and their employees.
The questionnaire included standardized respiratory health questions, as well as additional items written to assess the occupational exposure to silica and smoking history.
Growers and workers were assured their participation in the survey would be kept confidential. A composite picture based on general findings would be published in scholarly journals and addressed at scientific conferences.
Findings from the survey are due in fall 1991, with a project report expected in December 1991. Medical school staff have requested additional funding from the National Institute of Health for a mufti-year study.