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Children’s Environmental Health in Agricultural Settings
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    J Agromedicine. 17(2):127-139.
Filetype[PDF-610.92 KB]

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    Children residing in rural settings may encounter environmental hazards derived from agricultural production activities. Health consequences of organic dusts, farm chemicals including pesticides, machinery noise, excess sun exposure, and zoonotic infectious agents have been clearly described among farm-working adults. The author reviews the related evidence base on child health with a life-stage perspective on their differential exposure and vulnerabilities. Methemoglobinemia among infants consuming nitrate-contaminated well water, neurodevelopmental health impacts associated with early life exposure to organophosphate pesticides, and diarrheal disease due to zoonotic infectious agents are well-described pediatric concerns. There is suggestive but more limited evidence for respiratory health consequences from air contaminants associated with confined animal feeding operations and hearing deficits for children exposed to machinery-related noise. Many contaminants of concern for children in these environments remain largely understudied-diesel exhaust, biomass burning, solvents, veterinary antibiotics, and silica-containing particulate matter. Overall, the state of knowledge and programmatic activities on agriculturally derived environmental contaminants and child health is immature and much less complete than for working adults. This overview provides a context for research, policy, and programmatic needs.

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