A fruit-grower with large, atypical lung infiltrations and lung fibrosis triggered off an investigation of fruit-growers during the spraying season. An interview was carried out together with a Wright peak flow meter test and an x-ray examination of the chest. No fewer than 156 spray preparations were used by the group; individual fruit-growers used between three and 27. In connection with spraying, 41% of subjects had one or other type of symptom; peak flow was reduced in 19% and x-ray changes were seen in 24%. A questionnaire was returned by 132 of 235 farmers. Of these, 60 had worked with biocides, 72 had not. A non-significant higher frequency of symptoms was found among those who used biocides. The results would indicate that biocides (or "pesticides") can give rise to a lung disease, "biocide lung," which comprises (1) pneumonia, radiologically demonstrable by more or less transient round infiltrations and (2) chronic progressive lung fibrosis.
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