Silo filler's disease in New York State

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Sep;146(3):650-3. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/146.3.650.


Twenty new cases of Silo filler's disease (SFD) have been collected, documenting the incidence and clinical features of exposure to nitrogen oxides present in freshly filled silos. Cases of SFD were identified using a statewide computerized discharge diagnosis system. Fifteen of these were identified in the index period, allowing us to calculate an approximate annual incidence of 5.0 cases/100,000 silo-associated farm workers/yr in New York State. All cases occurred during harvest periods, with 80% in September and October. Corn silage was the gas source in 18 (90%). All cases involved young white men (mean age, 31.5 yr). The most common presenting feature was dyspnea. All victims entered a silo during the peak danger period, and only one used recommended ventilation techniques. Four cases ended in death (20% mortality). Silo filler's disease, although rare, is a potentially devastating disease involving otherwise young, healthy farm workers. It is readily prevented.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Silo Filler's Disease / diagnosis*
  • Silo Filler's Disease / epidemiology
  • Silo Filler's Disease / mortality