The risky business of being an entomologist: a systematic review
Stanhope, J and Carver, S and Weinstein, P, The risky business of being an entomologist: a systematic review, Environmental Research, 140 pp. 619-633. ISSN 0013-9351 (2015) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]
Adverse work-related health outcomes are a significant problem worldwide. Entomologists, including arthropod breeders, are a unique occupational group exposed to potentially harmful arthropods, pesticides, and other more generic hazards. These exposures may place them at risk of a range of adverse work-related health outcomes.
To determine what adverse work-related health outcomes entomologists have experienced, the incidence/prevalence of these outcomes, and what occupational management strategies have been employed by entomologists, and their effectiveness.
A systematic search of eight databases was undertaken to identify studies informing the review objectives. Data pertaining to country, year, design, work-exposure, adverse work-related health outcomes, incidence/prevalence of these outcomes, and occupational management strategies were extracted, and reported descriptively.
Results showed entomologists experienced work-related allergies, venom reactions, infections, infestations and delusional parasitosis. These related to exposure to insects, arachnids, chilopods and entognathans, and non-arthropod exposures, e.g. arthropod feed. Few studies reported the incidence/prevalence of such conditions, or work-related management strategies utilised by entomologists. There were no studies that specifically investigated the effectiveness of potential management strategies for entomologists as a population. Indeed, critical appraisal analysis indicated poor research quality in this area, which is a significant research gap.
Entomologists are a diverse, unique occupational group, at risk of a range of adverse work-related health outcomes. This study represents the first systematic review of their work-related health risks. Future studies investigating the prevalence of adverse work-related health outcomes for entomologists, and the effectiveness of management strategies are warranted to decrease the disease burden of this otherwise understudied group.
Contribution to Refereed Journal
entomology, health, risk assessment, occupational health