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Sheep Dip – A Health Hazard for North Devon Farmers?

Peter Sims (Exeter and North Devon Health Authority, UK.)

Journal of Management in Medicine

ISSN: 0268-9235

Article publication date: 1 August 1994


Sheep dip toxicity from organophosphate is a problem affecting at least 40 people, and probably far more in the farming community in north Devon. It is a problem not simply of acute exposure, but also of sub‐acute and possibly chronic exposure, with significant neurological and other illness. The epidemiology of this exposure and the pathological characteristics need to be elucidated. The toxicology of organophosphate chemicals in man, in low dosage, needs further investigation. Presently, farmers should not use organophosphates if they have had symptoms from previous exposure. To enable there to be no financial penalty, governments should ensure that there is no price differential between organophosphate sheep dips and others, e.g. pyrethroids. The Government, manufacturers, and the farming community need to work together to elucidate the problem as clearly as possible. There may also be long‐term, significant problems with financial compensation for afflicted individuals.



Sims, P. (1994), "Sheep Dip – A Health Hazard for North Devon Farmers?", Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 38-44.




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