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An Analysis Of Occupational Health In Pork Production


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  • Terrance M. HURLEY


  • James Kliebenstein


  • Peter F. ORAZEM



The rapid expansion of large-scale pork production has been accompanied by increasing concerns regarding potential detrimental consequences of environmental hazards on the health of producers. This study makes use of health indicators obtained from attendees at the World Pork Expo between 1991 and 1995 to evaluate the impact of pork production generally and of confinement production, specifically, on producer health. The analysis expands existing studies because the larger number of participants allows for detailed analysis, both nonfarmers and non-pork farmers are used as controls, both objective as well as self-reported health measures are considered, and personal characteristics such as height, weight, age, gender, smoking habits, and years of exposure to confinement operations and swine operations are controlled. The analysis shows that pork producers are more likely to report nagging respiratory symptoms (cough, sinus problems, sore throat) than are other farmers. Confinement operators have increased incidence of some symptoms relative to other pork producers. However, there was no evidence of permanent loss of pulmonary function associated with pork production or confinement operation. Farmers suffered from a greater incidence of hearing loss and loss of dominant hand strength relative to nonfarmers. Pork producers had even greater incidence of lost hand strength than other farmers but had no added incidence of hearing loss. On the plus side, farmers had lower blood pressure than did nonfarmers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University Department of Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 284.

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Date of creation: Dec 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:isu:isuesp:284

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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  1. Terrance M. HURLEY & James Kliebenstein & Peter F. ORAZEM, 1996. "Structure Of Wages And Benefits In The U.S. Pork Industry," Staff Papers 283, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
  2. James Kliebenstein & Peter F. Orazem, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Benefits in the U.S. Pork Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 144-163.
  3. Orazem, Peter F & Mattila, J Peter, 1991. "Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 103-22, February.
  4. Frisvold, George & Mines, Richard & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 1987. "The effects of job site sanitation and living conditions on the health and welfare of agricultural workers," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0gm5843r, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  5. repec:cdl:agrebk:676427 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Orazem, Peter F & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2003. "Child labour, school attendance and academic performance : a review," ILO Working Papers 366541, International Labour Organization.
  2. Terrance M. HURLEY & James Kliebenstein & Peter F. ORAZEM, 1996. "Structure Of Wages And Benefits In The U.S. Pork Industry," Staff Papers 283, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
  3. Orazem, Peter & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2004. "Child Labour, School Attendance and Performance: A Review," Staff General Research Papers 11177, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Maumbe, Blessing M. & Swinton, Scott M., 2002. "Hidden Health Costs Of Pesticide Use In Zimbabwe'S Smallholder Cotton," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19903, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).


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