As part of our efforts to find out the effects that the changes in farm work and factors of socio-economic significance have on female farmers' health, a follow-up survey was conducted to aqquire an observation as to the effects of iron administration on blood values. The district covered in our survey was divided into the three areas;(A) Flatland Area, (B) Intermediate Area and (C) Mountainous Area. The control group (S) consisted of those women who are not engaged in farm work. Examinations included history taking, measurements of the body and a battery of blood tests. The specific gravity of the whole blood was measured by the copper sulfate method; the blood hemoglobin value by the cyanomethemoglobin method; the hematocrit value by the microhematocrit method; and the total serum protein by the refractometry. A group of women chosen from two communities in Area (A) were administered 150 mgr of ferrous fumarate before and after the busiest seasons of spring and autumn, and its effects were investigated. The number of women who complained of fatigue at interviews was significantly larger among those engaged in farm work than the control group (S). Areawise, (C) outnumbered (B), which was followed by (A). Physical checkups revealed that (S) topped (A), followed by (B) and (C) in that order. Worthy of mention is that the growth of the youths in Area (C) was found inadequate. As regards blood values, we had (S), (A), (B) and (C) in a decending scale. This tendency corresponds to the scale of agriculture. Meanwhile, the effects of iron administration was remarkable. By contrast, the non-administered group showed a normal range of blood levels for only four to five months during the year. In other words, the blood values of female farmers without the administration of ferrous fumarate remain subnormal for six to seven months of the year.
Incidence of rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis falls to about 3 per cent of the whole population in Japan, but there has been no particular survey made so far in regard to rural population. With a view to grasping the situation of rheumatic diseases among rural people, we sent out a questionnaire to each medical service under the Agricultural Cooperative Association, and tried to surmise the incidence of these diseases in the locality on the basis of the number of patients treated by it. Disgnostic criteria of rheumatic diseases rested with each service. For each type of disease the rate of cases treated in each district against the total number of cases was obtained. Throughout the four year period of survey, the following trends were observed with regard to such rates:(1) Incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was higher in Kanto, Tokai and Chugoku districts, while it was lower in Hokkaido and Hokuriku-Shin-etsu districts;(2) Incidence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was higher in Chugoku and Tohoku districts, and was lower in Shikoku district;(3) Incidence of dermatomyositis (DM) was higer in Chugoku, Tohoku and Hokkaido districts, and lower in Kanto and Shikoku districts;(4) Incidence of polymyositis (PM) was higher in Tokai and Chugoku districts, while it was not reported from Hokkaido and Shikoku districts;(5) Incidence of scleroderma (PSS) was higher in Tohoku and Chugoku districts, but it was not reported from Hokkaido and Shikoku districts;(6) Incidence of periarteritis nodosa (PN) was higher in Tokai district, but was not reported from Hokkaido, Kanto and Shikoku districts;(7) Incidence of rheumatic fever (RF) was higher in Kanto district and lower in Tokai and Hokkaido districts;(8) Incidence of Behcet's syndrome (Beh), Sjogren's syndrome (SjS), Felty's syndrome (F), mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), overlap syndrome (OS) was on the whole higer in Tohoku and Chugoku districts, and lower in Tokai district. Through this survey, we could at least gain a general view of rheumatic diseases treated in medical services under the Agricultural Cooperative Association. It became also clear that all of these diseases were on the increase. Further survey will have to be made in the near future in the light of respective diagnostic criteria.
Respiratory and dermal exposures of the sprayman to pesticide sprayed by a dilute spray machine (speed sprayer) were studied in fruits orchards. Aerial concentration change of pesticide in the air were also investigated. The degrees of respiratory and dermal exposures were nearly independent on the size of machine, while they were higher in spring than in summer. The degree of respiratory exposure of pesticide was proportional to that of dermal exposure. The dermal exposure of sprayman was greatly reduced by the use of the machine equipped with a hood, which was not so effective against his respiratory exposure. Serum choline esterase activity of the sprayman was almost unchanged after pesticide spraying. The pesticide in orchard air was detected more than 3 hours after spraying. When pesticide was sprayed by the speed sprayer, the pesticide mist drifted into the house near the orchard.