Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain

W. R. Lee
1965 Occupational and Environmental Medicine  
Occupational Disease in California Attributed to Pesticides and Other Agricultural Chemicals. 1963. This report maintains the high standard of its predecessor, which I reviewed in this journal (Brit. J. industr. Med., 21, 329 (1964) ). It seemed then that the information given should be treated with caution, as it came from physicians some of whom may have been inexperienced in diagnosing the effects of agricultural chemicals. The present report goes far to meet my criticism in a summary of an
more » ... nvestigation on the validity of occupational disease reporting.' Physicians were asked if they had had second thoughts on any of their diagnoses, and a number of case histories were thoroughly and critically reviewed by two independent experts. The experts confirmed as occupational in origin 90 % of the cases of dermatitis and 75 % of the more specific of the other cases, and also found several cases not reported. It is now clear that, although wrong assessments may have introduced a little distortion into the statistics, the distortion is unlikely to be serious and on the side of under-rather than overestimation of the number of cases. The report shows an increase of 22 % over the previous year to a total of 1,013 cases. The increase was mainly due to widespread Parathion poisoning in one region. Organophosphates accounted for 32 % of all cases, and over three-quarters of the systemic cases. Emphasis is given to the difficulties found in controlling hazards when much of the labour force is unskilled and uneducated and Spanish-speaking under English-speaking supervision. It says little for some of the firms selling chemicals in the region that it is necessary to advocate
doi:10.1136/oem.22.4.324-a fatcat:3pe3cbh4gffklj3bhuq5zdreeu