The rapid expansion of large-scale pork production has been accompanied by increasing . concerns regarding potential detrimental consequences of environmental hazards on the health of producers. This study makes use of health indicators obtained from attendees at the WorldPork Expo between 1991-and 1995 to evaluate the impact of pork production generally and of confinement production, specifically, on producer health., The analysis expands existing studies - because the larger number of participants allows for detailed analysis, both non farmers and non pork farmers are used as controls,.both objective as well as self-reported health measures ^e • considered, and personal characteristics such as height, weight, age, gender, smoking habits, and years of exposure.to confinement operations and swine operations are controlled. The analysis shows that pork producers are more,likely to report nagging respiratory symptoms (cough,sinus problems, sore throat) than are other farmers. Confinement operators have increased incidence of some symptoms relative to other pork producers. However, there was no.e^dence ofpermanent loss ofpulmonary fiinction associated wth pork production or-confinement operation., Farmers suffered fi-om a greaterjncidence of hearing loss and loss ofdominant hand strength relative to . nonfanners. Pork producers had even greater incidence oflost hand strength than other farmers but had no added incidence ofhearing loss. On:the plus side, farmers had lower blood pressure than did nonfarmers.'
This report is published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 323-333
Hurley, Terrance M.; Kliebenstein, James B.; and Orazem, Peter, "An Analysis of Occupational Health in Pork Production" (1996). Economic Staff Paper Series. 283.