Occupational Health Published Research -- May 2013
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Occupational Health Published Research -- May 2013
Article TypeTitleLead AuthorYearShort SummaryKey FindingsLink
ReviewImmigrant populations, work and health--a systematic literature review.Ahonen2007This review article compiles and summarizes findings from recent immigrant occupational health studies from around the world. The authors assessed each study for key themes related to the work and health experiences of immigrants throughout the world. Studies on migrant health focused on 1) the importance of work, which resulted in pressures to maintain employment despite negative psychological and physical impacts; 2) occupational injury; 3) workplace exposures, such as pesticide; workplace education and prevention; 4) and the lack of information about immigrant occupational health.
ReviewDepression and anxiety in labor migrants and refugees--a systematic review and meta-analysis.Lindert2009This review and meta-analysis included 35 studies from around the world to examine the prevalence rates of depression and/ or anxiety among labor migrants and refugees across and whether or not the economic conditions (as measured by GDP) of migrants’ new country had an impact on mental health outcomes. 1) Rates for depression were 20% for labor migrants compared with 44 % percent among refugees; 2) Rates of anxiety were 21 percent among labor migrants vs. 40 percent refugees. 3) Coming from a richer country was related to lower rates of depression and anxiexty among labor migrants, only.
ReviewImmigration, employment relations, and health: Developing a research agenda.Benach2010This article is an international review of scientific and "grey" literatures on immigration, employment relations and health.1) Migrant workers are overrepresented in dangerous occupations, are often in unstable and low-paid position; 2) They face social exclusion, social exclusion, lack of health and safety training, fear for demanding better working conditions, language barriers, and poor surveillance of workplace safety.
ReviewThe health of U.S. hired farm workers.Villarejo2003Using several data sources, this paper reviews what is known in the following topical areas: (a) mortality and morbidity; (b) access to health care services; (c) control of infectious diseases; (d) maternal and child care; (e) occupational health; (f) violence; and (g) chronic health indicators.1) Farmworkers are mostly Mexican immigrant or migrant males, and nearly two thirds live in poverty; 2) At least 50% of all current hired farm workers are undocumented; 3) Fewer than 20% have health insurance, either through their employer or through government programs.
Limited Worker Protections/RightsHow Do Tougher Immigration Measures Affect Unauthorized Immigrants?Amuedo-Dorantes2013Surveys with immigrants who voluntarily returned to Mexico or who had been deported on the impact of punitive measures against unauthorized immigrants such as E-Verify.They did not find association between punitive measures like E-Verify and access to services. However, these mandated were linked to increased deportation fear and reduce mobility.
Limited Worker Protections/RightsCheck Please! Health and Working Conditions in San Francisco Chinatown RestaurantsChinese Progressive Association with support from UC Berkeley, SF DPH2010This report, based on surveys of 433 restaurant workers interviewed by their peers and observational data on 106 restaurants, found a prevalence of low-road industry practices such as wage violations, lack of benefits, poor working conditions, and stressful and hazardous workplaces1) 50% workers of the Chinatown restaurant workers in SF report at least one minimum wage violation; 2) These minimum wage violations add up to a total of $8 million every year; 3) 42% work over 40 hours a week, half of these people work over 60 hours a week; 4) 54% of worker pay for health care out of pocket
Limited Worker Protections/RightsImmigrant workers in the United States: recent trends, vulnerable populations, and challenges for occupational healthMcCauley 2005Discusion of the role of nurses in supporting an increasingly diverse migrant workforceHigh-risk occupations in which a large proportion of immigrant workers are hired include agriculture, sweatshops, day laborers, and construction.
Limited Worker Protections/RightsHow immigrant workers experience workplace problems: a qualitative study.de Castro 2006This study used interviews and narratives of workers’ seeking labor assistance as a workers’ rights center to identify the problems that immigrant workers encounter on the job and consequences of these problemsFindings show that workers' rights are systematically violated. Challenges in the workplace were related to how jobs are designed and managed. These factors were associated with injury/illness, job loss, and worker actions. Employers often retaliated.
Limited Worker Protections/RightsFarmworkers at risk: the costs of family separation.Ward2010This study used secondary analysis of 1,864 interviews with Hispanic workers from 1998 national data to explore the relationships between family separation and factors that affect health problems in this population.1) 25% of farmworkers were traveling without spouses or familiy.
2) Findings indicate that farmworkers who are separated from their families experience disadvantages in many areas including: health care access, educational attainment, and having to pay for a ride to work.
Migrant FarmworkersThe occupational, safety, and health of Florida farm workers: environmental justice in the fieldsMurphy-Greene2002Florida farmworkers participated in a survey to assess pesticide exposure, health problems, and laws and legal rights.1) State and federal laws that are meant to protect workers from pesticide exposure were not properly; implemented with these farmworkers; 2) 16% of farmworkers reported being sprayed as they worked "very often"; 3) 82% of farmworker did not know the fields they were working in had been sprayed.
Migrant FarmworkersDepressive symptoms among Latino farmworkers across the agricultural season: Structural and situational influencesGrzywacz2010This prospective study of farmworker mental health examined changes in well-being over a 4-month agricultural season among 288 Latino farmworks in rural North Carolina and social factors that influence these changes. Findings show that depressive symptoms changed over the course of the season. Structural stressors like marital status and situational stressors like the pace of work, crowded living conditions, and concerns about documentation predicted depressive symptoms. Efforts to improve the mental health of Latino migrant farm workers much work at the individual and social level.
Migrant FarmworkersCultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment [Report from Human Rights Watch]2012This 95-page report describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
Migrant FarmworkersHIV and Mexican migrant workers in the United States: a review applying the vulnerable populations conceptual modelAlbarrán2011This article reviews evidence in existing studies of how the availability of resources (e.g. socioeconomic resources, social status, human capital, and social ties) affects risk factors that, in turn, affect HIV rates among Mexican migrant farmworkers. Structural factors increase risk of HIV among this population, including: gender inequities in relationships, undocumented status, limited English, family separation and loneliness, poverty, low rates of health insurance.
Migrant FarmworkersHousing characteristics of farmworker families in North CarolinaEarly2006This study aims to document the characteristics and quality of housing for Latino migrant agricultural workers in North Carolina, specifically dwelling characteristics, household characteristics, and household behaviors. Findings show that housing is inadequate: Most families live in mobile homes, often located near agricultural fields, and do not own their dwelling. Most homes are small and crowding is common. Many homes lack basic facilities.
Migrant FarmworkersAn ethnographic study of the social context of migrant health in the United StatesHolmes2004This qualitative study employs participant observation and interviews on farms and in clinics throughout 15 months of migration with a group of indigenous Triqui Mexicans in the western US and Mexico. Study participants include more than 130 farm workers and 30 clinicians. The author concludes that “structural racism and anti-immigrant practices determine the poor working conditions, living conditions, and health of migrant workers.” Furthermore, it seems that “subtle” racism among all involved, including clinicians, reduces awareness and perhaps even allows tacit acceptance of these patterns of health.
Migrant FarmworkersMigrant farmworker stress: mental health implications.Hiott2008This study assessed stress and mental health status of 125 male migrant farmworkers. 1) 38% of farmworkers had significant levels of stress, including 5 stressor domains: legality and logistics, social isolation, work conditions, family, and substance abuse by others. ; 2) 18.4% of farmworkers had impairing levels of anxiety and 41.6% depression. ; 3) Social isolation was strongly associated with anxiety and working conditions were strongly associated with depression.
Migrant FarmworkersAgricultural injury in California migrant Hispanic farm workersMcCurdy2003This longitudinal study measured the injury incidence among agricultural workers in California.1) There are 9.3 injuries per 100 full-time employees among CA migrant farmworkers; 2) Women who are paid piece-rate are 5x the risk of being injured on the job. Sprains and strains (31%) and lacerations (12%) were the most common injuries.
Migrant FarmworkersIllnesses and injuries reported by Latino poultry workers in western North CarolinaQuandt 2006Survey interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 200 Latino poultry workers employed by three different companies in western North Carolina; topics included symptoms, work-related illnesses and injuries, and plant safety climate.1) 28% of workers reported an injury of any type in the last 12 months; 2) Only 72% of workers said that proper safety equipment is always available; 2) 89% of workers said the chance of injury in the next 12 months is very likely; 4) 65% of workers said they supervisors are only interested in doing their jobs fast and cheap; 5) Although 60% of workers reported at least one symptom, only 6% of workers sought medical care
Migrant FarmworkersHealth issues of migrant and seasonal farmworkersHansen2003This paper describes the socioeconomic conditions under which the 3 to 5 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States live. Health consequences resulting from occupational hazards and from poverty, substandard living conditions, migrancy, language and cultural barriers, and impaired access to health care are described. 1) Migrant farmworkers are six times more likely to have tuberculous compared with the general population; EPA estimates that 300,000 farmworkers suffer acute pesticide poisoning every year; 3) Farmworkers are four times likely than nonagricultural workers to suffer from heat-related illnesses; 4) Infant mortality rate has been estimated to be 2x the national average
Migrant FarmworkersComparison of current-use pesticide and other toxicant urinary metabolite levels among pregnant women in the CHAMACOS cohort and NHANESCastorina2010This study followed 538 women from farmworker families of the Salinas Valley of California, breakdown products of pesticides were measure twice during pregnancy. These levels were compared to a national sample.1) 78% of women in this study had detectable levels of at least one of the OP pesticide-specific metabolites that we measured, and > 30% had two or more; 2) The mothers of this study had higher exposure to pesticides compared with the national sample
Migrant FarmworkersOrganophosphate pesticide exposure and neurobehavioral performance in agricultural and non-agricultural Hispanic workersRothlein2003The study measure breakdown products of commonly used insecticides, collected environmental dust samples from a subset of homes, obtained information on work practices, and conducted neurobehavioral tests on a sample of farmworkers in Oregon1) Neurobehavioral performance of Hispanic immigrant farmworkers was lower than that observed in a nonagricultural Hispanic immigrant population; 2) Among agricultural workers there was an association between exposure to pesticides and some neurobehavioral tests.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersMexican urban occupational health in the US: a population at riskGany2011This study asses occupational illness, injury, and safety training among Mexican immigrants in New York City who sought services at the Mexican Consulate. Study participants work in restaurants (37%), cleaning (18%), construction (12%), babysitting/nanny (7%), retail (9%), and factories (5%).1) Only 22% of the Mexican immigrants received safety training; 2) Most injuries were in construction, factories, and restaurants; 3) 18% reported work-related pain or illness; 4) 18% suffered from a job-related injury since immigrating.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersOccupational risks and injuries in non-agricultural immigrant Latino workersPransky2002This study investigated the occupational health of 427 urban immigrant Latino workers in Virginia just outside of Washington, DC1) 31% of Latino workers received any job safety training; 2) 55% had no workers' compensation coverage; 3) Of the 47 (11%) with a work injury in the past 3 years, 27% reported difficulty obtaining treatment, 91% lost time from work (median = 13 days) and 29% had to change jobs because of the injury; 4) The annual occupational injury rate was 12.2/100 full-time workers, compared to an expected rate of 7.1.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersSociocultural contexts and worker safety and health: findings of a study with Chinese immigrant restaurant workers.Tsai2009This study of eighteen immigrants from China, Hong Kong and Tawain explored sociocultural factors that shape the occupational experiences and health of restaurant workers. 1) Immigrants' employment choices and experiences are shaped by immigration mechanisms, English proficiency, social networks; 2) Well-being was influenced by work hours, workplace relationships, roles and training, and safety and training.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersIdentifying Psychosocial Stressors of Well-being and Factors Related to Substance Use Among Latino Day Laborers.Nalini2011A qualitative study of Latino immigrant day laborers examines the social and economic factors associated with well-being and substance use. 1) Workers’ rights abuses, discrimination and social isolation have an additive impact on Latino day laborers well-being and substance use. In the absence of access to treatment or health care, many workers resorted to self-medication; 2) Supporting family, religion, and friendships were identified as protective factors.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersA longitudinal assessment of occupation, respiratory symptoms, and blood lead levels among latino day laborers in a non-agricultural settingRabito2011Information on day laborers' work and health experience in non-agriculture settings are lacking and is generally restricted to injury rates. This study was conducted to quantify the number of job and job task changes held over 12 months in a group of 73 migrant day laborers and assessed the relation between work type, health symptoms, and blood lead level.1) On average, Latino day laborers worked 2.4 different jobs over the past year averaging 41.5 hr per week; 2) Construction work was associated with a two- fold increase in sino-nasal and respiratory symptoms and was associated with increased blood lead levels.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersGarment workers in California: health outcomes of the Asian Immigrant Women Workers ClinicBurgel2004A cross sectional descriptive study, the demographics, risk factors, and health outcomes of a volunteer, symptomatic sample of monolingual Cantonese garment workers in the Oakland, California Chinatown area. Results from the first 100 clients revealed a highly symptomatic sample, with an average age of 48.7 years.1) Sixty-six percent rated their health status as fair or poor; 2) Sixteen percent of the sample had nerve entrapments; 3) 99% had a diagnosed strain or sprain of the spine or upper extremities; 4) These garment workers did not file workers' compensation claims because of a lack of knowledge and a fear of reprisal.
Nonmigrant FarmworkersCharacterizing workplace exposures in Vietnamese women working in California nail salonsQuach2011Using a CBPR approach that engaged community members in the research process, an air monitoring study was conducted in nail salons to measure levels of levels of toluene, methyl methacrylate, and total volatile organic compounds. Researchers also asked about health symptoms such as headaches, irritations, and breathing problems.1) 31 % of nail salon workers reported experiencing health symptoms such as irritations, headaches, nausea, and breathing problems after they began working in the nail care industry; 2) Measured levels of toluene, methyl methacrylate, and total volatile organic compounds were higher than recommended guidelines to prevent health symptoms such as headaches, irritations, and breathing problems, which were frequently reported in this workforce.
The Curious Ostrich [thecuriousostrich.wordpress.com] May 2013
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