The health effects of employment as a grain handler were studied by examining workers on two occasions, firstly, immediately before or soon after they were hired and again about two and a half months after they were employed. Over this time there was a substantial increase in the prevalence of cough, sputum, and eye irritation, accompanied by small pulmonary function changes suggestive of a restrictive ventilatory defect. No comparable changes in symptoms were observed over a similar number of months in grain handlers employed for an average of nine years or in control workers consisting of newly hired or long term civic outside labourers. The long term grain handlers, however, developed a similar change in their pulmonary function. These findings indicate the occurrence of a change in the health of grain elevator workers after a relatively brief duration of employment.
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