NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Silicosis prevention among hispanic construction workers: developing culturally appropriate health messages.

Tan-Wilhelm D; Williams C III; Massengale R; Welbourne J; Clough K; Ellison C
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :33
More than 14,000 workers in the United States have died from silicosis, and hundreds more add to the death toll each year. In the state of Texas, 300 cases of silicosis and workers exposed to silica were reported between 1990 and 1997. Among these cases, construction was one of the most frequently reported industries. One-third of the silicosis cases were found among Hispanic workers, most of whom were diagnosed in their thirties. Despite the alarming number of reports and the increasing representation of Hispanics in the work force, few attempts have been made to educate workers of Hispanic or Latino decent. To develop culturally appropriate silicosis prevention messages, we conducted 11 focus group interviews among 112 Hispanic construction workers in Texas. The results indicated that most workers were unaware of silicosis and most knew little about the cause and health effects of silicosis. Barriers to prevention included lack of knowledge about the risk of silica exposure and prevention methods, lack of proper protective equipment, time constraints, discomfort associated with wearing respirators, and not being able to read provided health and safety information. Being able to live long with one's family was an important reason these workers wanted to protect themselves. The workers' most preferred channel to obtain health and safety information was through training sessions, and their most credible sources of health and safety information were physicians or nurses. Based on the focus group results, we conclude that silicosis prevention messages should target both workers and employers. Messages designed for workers should emphasize the importance of family, be available in Spanish, and preferably be delivered through a training session by a clinician. The information collected in this study will be used to design a silicosis prevention program in Texas.
Silicosis; Silica-dusts; Racial-factors; Mortality-data; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Industrial-exposures; Employee-exposure; Education; Training; Disease-prevention; Health-hazards; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Families; Communication-systems
7631-86-9; 14808-60-7
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division