What is Farmer’s Lung
The symptoms of Farmer’s Lung can vary tremendously. There are the symptoms associated with a sudden attack, and there are the symptoms associated with a progressive illness. The allergic response depends on how sensitive the individual is to the moldy dust, and the quantity that enters the lung.
Some symptoms of Farmer’s Lung include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness or pains in the chest.
What Causes Farmer’s Lung
Farmer’s Lung is a result of breathing in dust containing the spores of special, heat-tolerating bacteria or moulds often found on moldy crops.
When crops are harvested in wet or rainy weather, crops begin to dry in storage. As the crops dry, bacteria and moulds both grow rapidly. As moldy hay dries, it darkens in colour, becomes brittle, and is very dusty. This dust is extremely fine and contains bacteria and mould spores; people can inhale these spores, which causes Farmer’s Lung.
The spores that cause Farmer’s Lung are not infectious, however they contain antigens that cause the immune system to trigger an allergic reaction. Antigens are usually found on germs such as infectious bacteria or viruses, however they are also found on harmless materials like mould spores. The immune system reacts to neutralize the antigens causing an allergic reaction.
Am I Likely to be Affected by Farmer’s Lung?
If you work alongside materials or foodstuffs that can become moldy, then it is a possibility. Farmers and agricultural professionals are at particular risk. It is the responsibility of all employers to provide a safe working environment, and that any chance of exposure is reduced as much as humanly possible, some of the activities most at risk of causing farmer’s Lung include:
- Handling hay or straw
- Working with grain or other feeds
- Working in grain storage bins or silos
- Working in dusty barns, buildings or fields
- Exposure to animal fur, dander or feathers
- Dealing with mouldy foodstuffs
How to prevent Farmer’s lung?
The appropriate preventative measures should be taken to reduce exposure to harmful dust. Taking steps to avoid crop spoilage would reduce the production of bacteria or mould spores that result in the allergic reaction.
The following preventative measures are recommended:
- Wet hay, grain, or other crops should be dried when harvested.
- Any building that contains large amounts of dusty material should be properly ventilated.
- During cleaning dust should be wetted down to prevent mold from becoming airborne.
- Where possible tasks that involve the handling of hay or other foodstuffs should be mechanized to reduce exposure.
- Employees should also wear approved, properly fitted dust respirators that will help protect the lungs from spores of moulds or bacteria.
- Training should be provided on the proper use of the equipment and procedures for maintenance and repair.
- To effectively aid in the prevention of Farmer’s Lung, a respirator should be worn on every occasion that dust could be encountered.
What Should I do Now?
If you have spoken to your GP and have been diagnosed with Farmer’s Lung you should immediately speak with one of our Solicitors at Asons about filing for Farmer’s Lung compensation today.
How Can Asons Solicitors Help?
We can provide assistance for a variety of Farmer’s Lungs Compensation claims. In talking to us you will receive the utmost care and attention whilst we deal with your Farmer’s Lung claims and we’ll keep you updated along every step of the way.