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Region of birth, sex, and agricultural work of immigrant Latino farm workers: the MICASA study.

McCurdy SA; Stoecklin-Marois MT; Tancredi DJ; Bennett DH; Schenker MB
J Agric Saf Health 2014 Apr; 20(2):79-90
Agricultural work is hazardous, and immigrant workers perform the majority of production tasks, yet there are few data describing agricultural work and use of protective measures by demographic characteristics. We examined cross-sectionally the influence of region of birth (Mexico vs. Central America) and sex on agricultural work and use of protective measures in the MICASA cohort of immigrant Latino farm workers in Mendota, California. Of 445 participants, 293 (65.8%) were born in Mexico (163 men, 130 women) and 152 (34.2%) were born in Central America (80 men, 72 women). Men worked on average 74.4 more days than women (95% CI 62.0, 86.9) and were more likely to perform tasks requiring high levels of training or strength, such as machine operation, pruning, picking, planting, and irrigation; more likely to work in dusty conditions; and more likely to work directly with pesticides. Women predominated in packing. Respondents from Mexico were more likely to work with tomatoes and less likely to work with melon and lettuce. Central America-born respondents were less likely to engage in planting, irrigation, and pesticide use. Use of task-appropriate personal protective measures on at least a half-time basis was rare, with the exception of persons working with pesticides (a group limited to men) and for facial scarves among Central American women. Further work should focus on identifying barriers to use of preventive measures and programs to further their use. Educational models accounting for cultural factors and driving social norm change, employer engagement, and use of community health workers (promotores) may be helpful in promoting use of preventive measures.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Hazards; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Children; Demographic-characteristics; Sociological-factors; Protective-measures; Statistical-analysis; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Education; Training; Questionnaires; Author Keywords: Agricultural injury; Immigrant Latino farm workers; Personal protective measures
Stephen A. McCurdy, MS-1C, Room 181, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8638
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant; Agriculture
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007550; Grant-Number-R01-OH-009293; M062014
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: March 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division