828 female agricultural workers were studied. Their age, blood pressure, Broca index, hemoglobin content, serum total cholesterol, activity of serum cholinesterase and transaminase (GOT and GPT) was measured. The distribution of each factor was examined in the sample of agricultural workers. The data for mean blood pressure, total cholesterol, activity of cholinesterase, GOT and GPT showed a log normal distribution. For the screening of the data, Mahalanobis's distance was calculated and the abnormal data (P<0.01) was compared with the worker's medical record. The data of non healthy women was excluded from the following calculation. The correlation coefficients between the activity of cholinesterase and other factors (age, Broca index, mean blood pressure, hemoglobin content, GOT and GPT) were statistically significant. This result indicates that the activity of cholinesterase somewhat depends on these factors. It is important to investigate the relationships between the activity of cholinesterase and some biochemical factors, and to establish the standard value of its activity in order to estimate the effect of pesticides.
The regression analysis between the activity of serum cholinesterase and some biochemical factors of female agricultural workers was examined. To normalize the value of the factors, logarithmic value was calculated. Multiple regression analysis between the activity of cholinesterase and the factors related to liver function, such as the activity of GOT, GPT and total cholesterol content were calculated. The most significant factor related to cholinesterase was total cholesterol content, and the activity of GPT was the second. The Multiple regression coefficients of the equation between the cholinesterase and total cholesterol and GPT were from 9.7 to 18.3. Using all biochemical factors as independent variables, the most suitable equation was determined from calculating the predictive sum of square (PSS). The activity of cholinesterase (ln (ChE)) depends upon the following factors, age, ln (GPT), ln (TCh) and Broca index. Hemoglobin content could also be added as a variable. The equation is; ln (ChE) =0.002126 (age) +0.04028 ln (GPT) +0.2112 ln (TCh) +0.002188 (Broca index)-1.5687+α Where α is the parameter of each population. From this equation, the standard value of the activity of cholinesterase of each woman was calculated. The estimate of cholinesterase activity may be useful to examine the inhibitory effect of pesticides on cholinesterase.
Many of the Japanese farmers engaging in strawberry cultivation in green houses complaint of low back pain, shoulder stiffness and others. These complaints are considered to be caused partly by the bowing postures when picking strawberries and partly by the traditional sitting _postures on tatami mats or floor of a living room when sorting and packing strawberries. In the present study, an ergonomic improvement of the traditional work postures was intended by adopting a sitting work posture on a seat. Based on the data of an experimental study, we advised the farmers to adopt the sitting posture on a seat. Later on, a fact-finding survey was performed on them. The exchange of the traditional work postures for the sitting posture on a seat proved to decrease localized fatigue and to increase work efficiency. From the results of the survey and ergonomic considerations, the sitting work posture on a seat under the following ergonomic conditions was concluded to be valid: 1) A seat adjustable in height with a backrest and casters is recommended. The height should be adjusted to [(body height) ×1/4-1] cm above the floor. 2) A strawberry container (size: 40cm×60cm×10cm in the present study) is put on the table that consists of only a top board and legs. The container should have the inclination of 15°. 3) The height of the container brim of a farmer's side should be adjusted to [(body height) ×7/17-2] cm above the floor. 4) The horizontal distance between the container and the iliospinale anterius of the farmer's body should be about 20cm. 5) The seat and table should be used in a workshop with enough illumination, moderate temperature and flat floor.
Studies were made of probable errors in measuring hemoglobin levels. The subject of this investigation was inhabitants in Kamigo, Kisakata Town, Yuri-gun, Akita Prefecture. First, in order to find out errors of measurement, the hemoglobin levels of 99 persons were measured. Errors due to the mixture of tissue fluid were not evident. Personal errors due to the difference in the handling of the instrument were scarcely noted. However, when two different types of instrument were used, instrumental errors were found significant with dispersion of 1%. Next, changes in hemoglobin levels were examined. Daytime variations were investigated twice a day (27 persons) and six times a day or once every four hours (15 persons). It was found that the hemoglobin levels are higher in the morning than in the afternoon. Examinations of daily variations were conducted on 30 persons for five days consecutively. The widest range of fluctuations was 2.6 g/dl, the smallest 0.2 g/dl. There was not a single person whose hemoglobin levels remained unchanged. As for seasonal variations, the hemoglobin levels of a total of 53 persons showed a downward tendency in summer and an upward tendency in winter. Thus, it was made clear that the hemoglobin levels change hourly, daily and seasonally. It was also proved that measured values vary depending on types of measuring instrument used. Our studies suggest that dispersion of measured values should be taken into consideration when the degree of anemia is judged based on hemoglobin levels.
“Tatami mat” made of rush is one of the most important farm products in Japan. The process, consisted of planting (4 week in November-December), cultivating (January-June), harvesting (3-4 week in June-July) and weaving (8-10 months in August-April), . is domestic labor and carried at all seasons. From the health point of view rush labor has brought about several problems, referred to hard physical work, heat stress and dust inhalation etc. To determine the work load on the rush farmers, case studies on work and environmental conditions of the process were conducted, and the mesures of the health control for the farmers were scrutinized. In the present report, seasonal variation in the framework of daily life was analyzed. In harvesting process, the average time spent a day for gaining income (farm work) was estimated to be 806±43min. for males (N=9), 776±56min. for females (N=8), being longer than other process such as planting, 742±75min. for males (N=3), 661±20min. for females (N=3) and weaving, 589±68min. for males (N=3), 673±91min. for females (N=3). The working time for weaving was seemed to have a tendency of being longer for females than males. The average time for houshold duties was estimated to be 108-139min. longer for females at all seasons. On the contrary, the average time for physical reproduction and sleeping hours was 74-6 min. It was longer for males than females. The time spent for social, and cultural activities was equal in both sexes, males and females.
Rush labor contains different types of physical works, and each work load, when classified in accordance with Christensen's criteria, was mainly classified as being moderately heavy or heavy in the planting process, and being moderately he. avy or very heavy in the harvesting process and light in the weaving process. The average value of relative metabolic rate for working time was estimated to be 3.0±0.2 (4.74 kcal/65kg/min) for males, 2.9±0.1 (3.63 kcal/55kg/min) for females at planting. And 3.6±0.2 (5.43 kcal/65kg/min) for males, 3.8±0.1 (4.43kcal/55kg/min) for females at harvesting, 1.6±0.4 (3.12 kcal/65 kg/min) for males, 1.2±0.1 (2.11kcal/55 kg/min) for females at weaving. The average value of energy expenditure a day was calculated to be 3619±313 kcal for males and 3023±277 kcal for females at planting, 4346±228 kcal (115% of caloric intake) for males, 3803±235 kcal (158%) for females at hervesting, 2560±221 kcal for males, 2178±86 kcal for females at weaving.
Seasonal variation of thermal conditions was investigated and it's heat stress to workers was discussed as follows. At rush harvesting process, workers were exposed to scorching heat of the sun. In the process, the average value of WBGT-index for working hours was estimated to be 27.6°C (25.1°C-30.0°C), globe thermometer readings, 34.0°C (24.5°C-41.5°C) and Heat Stress Index, 58.7 (3.3-114.8) for males and 61.3 (-1.8-129.8) for females. The amount of sweat in working hours was measured to be 4829±874 g for males, 4295±748g for females. And the rise in the concentration of serum protein, hemoglobin and hematocrit level was found after the work. This suggested that, although no case of heat stroke could be found, physiological functions of rush workers might be affected by hard physical work and heat stress through the process. The workers were engaged in weaving in hot environment of 25-30°C dry-bulb thermometer from August to September in the working room. And at planting, they were in cold weather of 7-10°C in the paddy fields.
As above-mentioned, the rush cultivating process has been traditionally manual hard work. But, since 1970 progress has been made in mechanization of work procedure such as rush cutting, smearing and driing. Comparative study on each work load with manual and machinery process was conducted four times from 1968 to 1978. The results were as follows. The lightening of physical load was apparently seen in the some procedures. For example, from 6.7-10.0 kcal/65 kg/min in manual cutting process to 2.4-8.1 kcal/65 kg/min mechannized process. And, average value of relative metabolic rate a working day was lowered 3.6 to 3.4 for males, 3.8 to 3.5 for females. Shortening of working hours in a day and decrease of energy expenditure was seen for both sexes. But this tendency was not so impressive in females as in males, because these machines were mainly operated by males and so other additional works, not yet mechanized such as rush bundling and transportation, was likely taken by females. Hours of work per 10 a was decreased by 34% during 10 years, 1968-1978. But yet, personal work load and/or per household were not rather decreased by such mechanization.
Knowledge of output of Trichobilharzia brevis cercariae from the snail host, Austropeplea ollula is important in the design of control measures of paddy field dermatitis because the level of human infection will be related to the number of freed cercariae which emerged from infected snails and the duration of the cercarial shedding period. To determine the number of cercariae emerging from a snail following exposure to a single miracidium, each of 33 snails was exposed for a 10-hour period to a miracidium of T. brevis. Thirteen of the exposed snails ultimately shed cercariae, which were counted at least once daily, usually at 10 a.m. The snails began to release cercariae from 24 to 35 days after exposure at temperatures ranging from 22 to 24°C. The average output per snail per day of snails examined varied from 68. 4 to 312. 3: the greatest daily output of a single snail was 911. The total output of a single snail varied from 3, 593 to 31, 091: the average for all 13 examined was 14, 159, with the cercarial shedding period ranging from 28 to 188 days.
A health examination and an occupational health investigation were executed to find health problems of workingwomen in a rural factory which produces the disposable medical tools on the line. The results were as follows 1) Most of workingwomen complain of fatigue of muscle and neuro-sensory systems which is due to simple work of assembly-line operation. Mild hypertension, anemia, backpain and eyestrain are also prevalent. 2) The exposure to organic solvents was scarcely defined by our occupational environmental investigation, but an attention should be paid to the chronic intoxication by long-term, trace exposure to organic solvents. Recently organic solvents are so often used in factories in rural districts that it is very important to arrange the health check system for the intoxication by organic solvents, and to call special attentions of workingwomen to the occupational disease through the health education. 3) As many workingwomen must work hard not only at the factory but also at their homes after their duties, carrying on agricultural cultivation, household and nursing of infants, they are usually fatigued and are chronically in anemic condition. To promote the health level of workingwomen in rural district, it is very important to realize the comprehensive health care. from the standpoint of promoting community health and occupational health care.
Pesticide poisonings continue to be a national problem in U.S.A.. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that approximately 3, 000 patients are hospitalized for pesticide poisonings each year. The problem of pesticide residues and issues of carcinogenesis are also causing grave concern. The aim of this paper is to review the pesticide poisonings in U.S.A. and introduce some regulatory approaches in recent years.