Gender differences in acute pesticide-related illnesses and injuries among farmworkers in the United States, 1998-2007
ABSTRACT Farmworkers have a high risk for acute pesticide-related illness and injury, and the rate among female farmworkers is approximately twice as high as that among males. Surveillance data were used to identify reasons for this gender difference.
We identified acute pesticide-related illness and injury cases among farmworkers from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides Program and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Gender-specific associations with acute pesticide-related illness and injury were assessed using chi-square tests. National Agricultural Workers Survey data were also examined.
The over-representation of females among farmworker illness and injury cases was confined to females who did not handle pesticides (non-handlers). Female non-handler farmworkers who were affected were more likely to be working on fruit and nut crops, to be exposed to off-target pesticide drift, and to be exposed to fungicides and fumigants compared to males.
Although there is an increased risk for acute pesticide-related illness and injury among female farmworkers, the absolute number of farmworkers with acute pesticide-related illness and injury is far higher among males than females. Furthermore, farmworkers have little or no control over many of the identified contributing factors that led to illness and injury. Stringent enforcement of existing regulations and enhanced regulatory efforts to protect against off-target drift exposures may have the highest impact in reducing acute pesticide-related illness and injury among farmworkers.
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ABSTRACT: Background Cleaning workers are regularly exposed to cleaning products containing hazardous chemicals. This study investigated acute symptoms associated with chemical exposures among cleaning workers and their safe work practices.Methods This cross-sectional study included 183 cleaning workers employed in an academic medical center and affiliated health sciences campuses in Northern California. Data on respiratory, eye, skin, neurological, and gastrointestinal symptoms and occupational factors were collected by in-person interviews or self-administered questionnaires.ResultsChemical-related symptoms (several times monthly or more often) were more common among workers who performed patient area cleaning (44%) than hospital custodians (36%) or campus custodians (28%). After controlling for age, sex, and job title, symptoms were associated with exposure to carpet cleaners (OR = 2.98, 95% CI 1.28–6.92), spray products (OR = 2.82, 95% CI 1.16–6.82), solvents (OR = 2.71, 95% CI 1.20–6.15), and multi-purpose cleaners (OR = 2.58, 935% CI 1.13–6.92). Except for gloves, regular use of personal protective equipment was infrequent.Conclusions Study findings suggest a need for additional interventions such as use of less toxic products to reduce health risks among cleaning workers. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 11/2014; 57(11). DOI:10.1002/ajim.22376 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Farmwork is one of the most hazardous occupations for men and women. Research suggests sex/gender shapes hazardous workplace exposures and outcomes for farmworkers. This paper reviews the occupational health literature on farmworkers, assessing how gender is treated and interpreted in exposure-outcome studies.Methods The paper evaluates peer-reviewed articles on men and women farmworkers' health published between 2000 and 2012 in PubMed or SCOPUS. Articles were identified and analyzed for approaches toward sampling, data analysis, and use of exposure indicators in relation to sex/gender.Results18% of articles reported on and interpreted sex/gender differences in health outcomes and exposures. Sex/gender dynamics often shaped health outcomes, yet adequate data was not collected on established sex/gender risk factors relating to study outcomes.Conclusion Research can better incorporate sex/gender analysis into design, analytical and interpretive approaches to better explore its mediation of health outcomes in light of emerging calls to mainstream gender research. Am. J. Ind. Med. 9999:1–24, 2014. © 2014 The Authors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 12/2014; 57(12). DOI:10.1002/ajim.22375 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT The changing conditions, technologies, and labor markets have shifted the gender division of labor on the farm. Women have taken on off-farm labor, but also increased their involvement in agriculture. The work and occupational risks of women have received less attention and are to great extent invisible. The spatial division between on-farm, off-farm, and domestic work is one contributing factor to the situation. The different situations and contexts of agriculture increase the need for knowledge regarding the processes and positions of farming. Through analyzing the literature on the topic, this study examined the gendered understanding of occupational health and safety in Western agriculture and how the embodied positions on the farm can affect women's exposure to risks and their knowledge about injury prevention. The findings are being discussed and framed in a dialogue with a gender theoretical framework, with the aim to produce a more comprehensive understanding of health and safety in agriculture through improving and refining methods. The review stresses the need of further gender research and the incorporation of qualitative methods, to increase the knowledge and understanding of the gendered relations, bodies, and situated knowledge of agricultural spaces.Journal of Agromedicine 06/2014; 19(3):303-315. DOI:10.1080/1059924X.2014.916644 · 0.92 Impact Factor