While the weather is working in our favor this year for grain harvest, the crop is drying down quickly and mold and dust are prolific. Dust and mold cause significant respiratory issues that range in symptoms from minor discomfort to more serious illnesses. Protecting yourself from exposure to respiratory hazards should be a priority anytime but especially when working with grain dust or potential molds. With the significant demand for NIOSH-approved N95 masks this year, many farmers have noted that it is nearly impossible to find their typical respiratory protection for harvest and handling grain.
Carolyn Sheridan, Executive Director and Founder of the Ag Health & Safety Alliance, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have several resources available, including a short video (below) to discuss an alternative option to disposable facemasks that is more accessible this year.
- Respiratory Protection Worksheet, Ag Health & Safety Alliance
- Respirator User Seal Check (Video), Ag Health & Safety Alliance
- Mask Up 4 Harvest, Ag Health & Safety Alliance
- How to protect yourself from farm dust (RECOVERY 24),Iowa State University