Pulmonary health effects of agriculture

Tara M. Nordgren, Kristina L. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Occupational exposures in the agricultural industry are associated with numerous lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, lung cancer, and interstitial lung diseases. Efforts are ongoing to ascertain contributing factors to these negative respiratory outcomes and improve monitoring of environmental factors leading to disease. In this review, recently published studies investigating the deleterious effects of occupational exposures in the agricultural industry are discussed. Recent findings Occupational exposures to numerous agricultural environment aerosols, including pesticides, fungi, and bacteria are associated with impaired respiratory function and disease. Increases in certain farming practices, including mushroom and greenhouse farming, present new occupational exposure concerns. Improved detection methods may provide opportunities to better monitor safe exposure levels to known lung irritants. Summary In the agricultural industry, occupational exposures to organic and inorganic aerosols lead to increased risk for lung disease among workers. Increased awareness of respiratory risks and improved monitoring of agricultural environments are necessary to limit pulmonary health risks to exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • agriculture
  • occupational exposures
  • pulmonary health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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