A prospective study was carried out to investigate the nature, frequency and signs of ill-health among farmers treating sheep for ectoparasites. Farmers were interviewed by a study nurse before and after treatment and also kept a symptom diary and measured their body temperature for 7 days following treatment. Blood and urine samples were collected. Blood samples were analysed for butyrylcholinesterase activity, clinical biochemistry and haematology parameters as well as serology for infectious pathogens. Urine samples were analysed for pesticide metabolites. Farmers reporting and not reporting symptoms following treatment were compared to examine the extent to which pesticide and other exposures were associated with ill-health.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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