Protect yourself from moldy crops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Protect yourself from moldy crops

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends respiratory protection for people who will be working with crops showing signs of mold after summer floods.

The IDPH says exposure to moldy, damaged, dusty grain can cause significant health issues for people. Symptoms from exposure may include cough, chest tightness, malaise (a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or feeling "ill-at-ease"), headache, muscle aches, and fever. For some people, exposure to massive amounts of moldy grain can result in conditions called "organic dust toxic syndrome" and "hypersensitivity pneumonitis."

People with underlying respiratory or cardiovascular health problems should check with their doctor before working with moldy crops, and should not wear a respirator without the approval of their medical provider.

You can find more information regarding respiratory personal protective equipment online here, or by contacting an AgriSafe Network clinic.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is reminding farmers that grain impacted by flood waters, whether in the field or in a bin, is considered adulterated and cannot be used for feed or food. The grain still in the field should be destroyed and not blended with uncontaminated grain.

In the rare situations where the water flooding the field was not contaminated, the grain may be reconditioned. Before being sold, the grain must be reconditioned with the written consent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Flood damaged grain is considered adulterated under Chapter 198.7 of the Iowa Code. The Code prohibits the manufacturing or distribution of any food or feed from ingredients that are adulterated.

Online producer:  Adam Amdor

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