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August 4, 1956


Author Affiliations

Iowa City

Head, Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, and Director, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, State University of Iowa College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1357-1360. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140013004

• The health problems of the agricultural worker are numerous and important, and some have not been solved. Better reporting and classification of accidents is essential, for in 1954 there were 1,200,000 injuries on the farm, with 14,000 deaths. Infections of animals are transmissible to man in many instances. Among the most important of these zoonoses in the United States at this time are anthrax, brucellosis, arthropod-borne encephalitis, Q fever, rabies, salmonellosis, trichinosis, bovine tuberculosis, and tularemia. Progress here also depends on improved reporting.

The farmer is exposed to innumerable new chemicals, including pesticides, growth stimulators, and antibiotics. Greater awareness of their danger is desirable. Skin disease from bites and irritants, pulmonary disease from dusts and pollens, gastro-intestinal disease from poor sanitation, and disturbances of mental health assumed to be more common in rural than in urban areas require further investigation. An Institute of Agricultural Medicine has been organized in Iowa in an effort to make sure that special attention will be devoted to these problems.