Advertisement

Latino/Hispanic Farmworkers and Farm Work in the Eastern United States: The Context for Health, Safety, and Justice

  • Thomas A. Arcury
  • Antonio J. Marín
Chapter

Abstract

The context in which farmworkers in the eastern United States (US) labor and live affects their health and safety, and the process of achieving justice. This context includes geographic, agricultural, demographic, cultural, and political dimensions, with each of these dimensions experiencing considerable change in the past 50 years. This chapter provides an overview of the context for farmworkers in the eastern US, and defines who is a farmworker for this volume. Although farmworkers in the eastern US became a largely Latino/Hispanic population in the early 1990s, this population continues to be varied in ethnic composition (Latino/Hispanic, Indigenous, non-Latino/Hispanic) and migration status. The information needed to document each dimension of the context for farmworkers in the eastern US is often unavailable. The lack of information makes it difficult to understand who farmworkers are, their number, their personal characteristics, their exposures and health status, and how best to work toward justice for farmworkers and their families. Recommendations to improve health, safety, and justice include more complete and consistent reporting by state agencies of information they collect for farmworkers in their states, and better documentation and reporting of study design by researchers. This information will provide a foundation for understanding diversity in the health and safety of farmworkers, and help direct efforts needed to improve social justice.

Keywords

Political Organization Farm Work Family Farm Agricultural Commodity North American Free Trade Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aguirre International (2005a) National Agricultural Workers Study: for public access data 1989–2002. Aguirre International, Burlingame, CA. http://aguirreinternational.com/naws/downloads/National_report_2002.pdf. Cited 8 Aug 2008
  2. Aguirre International (2005b) National Agricultural Workers Study: for public access data, Eastern Area Stream 1989–2002. Aguirre International, Burlingame, CA. http://aguirreinternational.com/naws/downloads/Eastern_report_2002.pdf. Cited 8 Aug 2008
  3. Aguirre International (2005c) National Agricultural Workers Study: for public access data, Western Area Stream 1989–2002. Burlingame, CA: Aguirre International. http://aguirreinternational.com/naws/downloads/Western_report_2002.pdf. Cited 8 Aug 2008
  4. Arcury TA, Quandt SA (2007) Delivery of health services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Annu Rev Public Health 28:345–363PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arcury TA, Vallejos QM, Feldman SR, (2006) Treating skin disease: self-management behaviors of Latino farmworkers. J Agromedicine 11:27–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arcury TA, Feldman SR, Schulz MR et al. (2007) Diagnosed skin diseases among migrant farmworkers in North Carolina: prevalence and risk factors. J Agric Saf Health 13:407–418PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Baer RD, Bustillo M (1993) Susto and mal de ojo among Florida farmworkers: EMIC and ETIC perspectives. Med Anthropol Q 7:90–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baer RD, Bustillo M (1998) Caida de mollera among children of Mexican migrant workers: implications for the study of folk illnesses. Med Anthropol Q 12:241–249PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baer RD, Penzell D (1993) Research report: susto and pesticide poisoning among Florida farmworkers. Cult Med Psychiatry 17:321–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Borjan M, Constantino P, Robson MG (2008) New Jersey migrant and seasonal farm workers: enumeration and access to healthcare study. New Solut 18:77–86PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown MH (March 24, 2008) In visa dispute, businesses face summer worker gap: congressional dispute on visas puts Shore businesses in a bind. Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-te.visas24mar24,0,5974178.story. Cited 8 Jun 2008
  12. Carroll D, Samardick RM, Bernard S et al. (2005) Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 2001–2002: a demographic and employment profile of United States farm workers (Research Report No. 9). US Department of LaborGoogle Scholar
  13. Cathcart S, Feldman SR, Vallejos Q et al. (2008) Self-treatment of contact dermatitis with bleach in a Latino farmworker. Dermatitis 9:102–104Google Scholar
  14. Cortina J, de la Garza R (2004) Immigrant remitting behavior and its developmental consequences for Mexico and El Salvador. The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  15. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary (2004) Annual update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines. Federal Register Vol. 69: pp. 7336–7338. http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/04fedreg.pdf. Cited 17 Jul 2008
  16. Earle-Richardson G, May JJ (2002) Tienes leche? The changing demographics of the dairy workforce. J Agric Saf Health 8:5–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Earle-Richardson G, Jenkins PL, Stack S et al. (2005) Estimating farmworker population size in New York State using a minimum labor demand method. J Agric Saf Health 11:335–345PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Farquhar S, Samples J, Ventura S et al. (2008) Promoting the occupational health of indigenous farmworkers. J Immigr Minor Health 10:269–280PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Feldman AR, Vallejos QM, Quandt SA et al. (2009) Healthcare utilization for skin disease in migrant Latino farmworkers: skin disease is common, but formal healthcare utilization is not. J Rural Health 25:98–103)Google Scholar
  20. Flocks J, Monaghan P, Albrecht S (2007) Florida farmworkers’ perceptions and lay knowledge of occupational pesticides. J Community Health 32:181–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gabbard S (2006) Emerging trends in farmworker demographics: Results from the National Agricultural Workers’ Survey. Presentation at the NACHC National Farmworker Health Conference (May), San Antonio, TXGoogle Scholar
  22. Gadon M, Chierici RM, Rios P (2001) Afro-American migrant farmworkers: a culture in isolation. AIDS Care 3:789–801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grey MA, Woodrick AC (2002) Unofficial sister cities: meatpacking labor migration between Villachuato, Mexico, and Marshalltown, Iowa. Hum Organ 61:364–376Google Scholar
  24. Grieshop JI, Stiles MC, Villanueva N (1996) Prevention and resiliency: a cross cultural view of farmworkers’ and farmers’ beliefs about work safety. Hum Organ 55:25–32Google Scholar
  25. Harris C (2005) CATA policy manual: laws affecting the farmworker population and CATA’s position. El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)/The Farmworker Support Committee, Glassboro, NJ. Available at http://www.cata-farmworkers.org/english%20pages/CATA%20Policy%20Manual.pdf. Cited 15 Jun 2008
  26. Heuer L, Lauch C (2006) Living with diabetes: perceptions of Hispanic migrant farmworkers. J Community Health Nurs 23:49–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hunt LM, Ojanguren RT, Schwartz N et al. (1999) Balancing risks and resources: applying pesticides without using protective equipment in southern Mexico. In: Hahn RA (ed) Anthropology and public health: bridging differences in culture and society. Oxford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Kirkhorn SR, Schenker MB (2002) Current health effects of agricultural work: respiratory disease, cancer, reproductive effects, musculoskeletal injuries, and pesticide-related illnesses. Agric Saf Health 8:199–214Google Scholar
  29. Larson AC (2000) Migrant and seasonal farmworker enumeration profiles study. http://www.ncfh.org/00_ns_rc_enumeration.php. Cited 17 Jul 2008
  30. Lecca P, Nunes JV, Quervalu I (1998) Cultural competency in health, social, and human services: directions for the twenty-first century. Garland, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Leone LP, Johnston HL (1954) Agricultural migrants and public health. Public Health Rep 69:1–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Mainous AG III, Cheng AY, Garr RC (2005) Non-prescribed antimicrobial drugs in Latino community, South Carolina. Emerg Infect Dis 11:883–888PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Mainous AG III, Diaz VA, Carnemolla M (2008) Factors affecting Latino adults’ use of antibiotics for self-medication. J Am Board Fam Med 21:128–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. May J, Hawkes L, Jones A et al. (2008) Evaluation of a community-based effort to reduce blueberry harvesting injury. Am J Ind Med 51:307–315PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mirabelli MC, Wing S, Marshall SW et al. (2006) Asthma symptoms among adolescents who attend public schools that are located near confined swine feeding operations. Pediatrics 18:e66–e75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Molina C, Zambrana RE, Aguirre-Molina M (1994) The influence of culture, class, and environment on health care. In: Molina CW, Aguirre-Molina M(eds) Latino health in the US: A growing challenge. American Public Health Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  37. Passel JS, Cohn D (2008) U.S. population projections: 2005–2050. Pew Research Center, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Pew Hispanic Center (2003) Remittance senders and receivers: tracking the transnational channels. Pew Hispanic Center, Washington. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=23. Cited 17 Jul 2008
  39. Pew Hispanic Center (2008) A statistical portrait of Hispanics at mid-decade. Pew Research Center, Washington. http://pewhispanic.org/reports/middecade. Cited 8 Jun 2008
  40. Poss JE (1998) The meanings of tuberculosis for Mexican migrant farmworkers in the United States. Soc Sci Med 47:195–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Poss J, Pierce R, Prieto V (2005) Herbal remedies used by selected migrant farmworkers in El Paso, Texas. J Rural Health 21:187–191PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pratt DS, Marvel LH, Darrow D et al. (1992) The dangers of dairy farming: the injury experience of 600 workers followed for two years. Am J Indust Med 21:637–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Quandt SA, Arcury TA, Austin CK et al. (1998) Farmworker and farmer perceptions of farmworker agricultural chemical exposure in North Carolina. Hum Organ 57:359–368Google Scholar
  44. Quandt SA, Preisser JS, Arcury TA (2002) Mobility patterns of migrant farmworkers in North Carolina: implications for occupational health research and policy. Hum Organ 61:21–29Google Scholar
  45. Rabinowitz PM, Sircar KD, Tarabar S et al. (2005) Hearing loss in migrant agricultural workers. J Agromed 10:9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rao P, Quandt SA, Arcury TA (2002) Hispanic farmworker interpretations of green tobacco sickness. J Rural Health 8:503–511Google Scholar
  47. Rubel AJ (1960) Concepts of disease in Mexican-American culture. Am Anthropol 62:795–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Salazar M, Keifer M, Negrete M et al. (2005) Occupational risk among orchard workers: A descriptive study. Fam Community Health 28:239–252PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Sorensen JA, May JJ, Paap K et al. (2008) Encouraging farmers to retrofit tractors: a qualitative analysis of risk perceptions among a group of high-risk farmers in New York. J Agric Saf Health 14:105–117PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Stack SG, Jenkins PL, Earle-Richardson G et al. (2006) Spanish-speaking dairy workers in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont: results from a survey of farm owners. J Agromedicine 11:37–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Suro R, Bendixen S, Lowell BL et al. (2002) Billions in motion: Latino immigrants, remittances and banking. A report produced in cooperation between the Pew Hispanic Center and the Multilateral Investment Fund. Pew Hispanic Center, Washington. http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=548657. Cited 17 Jul 2008
  52. Tajik M, Muhammad N, Lowman A et al. (2008) Impact of odor from industrial hog operations on daily living activities. New Solut 18:193–205PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. United States Office of Migrant Health (1990) An atlas of state profiles which estimate number of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and members of their families. US Department of Health and Human Services, RockvilleGoogle Scholar
  54. US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) (1995) Pesticide worker protection standard training (40 CFR Part 170). Federal Register Vol. 60(70): pp. 18554–18555. http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/safety/workers/PART170.htm. Cited 17 Jul 2008
  55. Weinstein ND (1988) The precaution adoption process. Health Psychol 7:355–386PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Weinstein ND (1989) Optimistic biases about personal risks. Science 249:1232–1233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weller SC (1983) New data on intracultural variability: the hot-cold concept of medicine and illness. Hum Organ 42:249–257Google Scholar
  58. Weller SC, Baer RD (2001) Intra- and intercultural variation in the definition of five illnesses: AIDS, diabetes, the common cold, Empacho, and Mal De Ojo. Cross-Cult Res 35:201–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Weller SC, Pachter LM, Trotter RT II et al. (1993) Empacho in four Latino groups: a study of intra- and inter-cultural variation in beliefs. Med Anthropol 15:109–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weller SC, Baer RD, de Alba Garcia JG et al. (2002) Regional variation in Latino descriptions of susto. Cult Med Psychiatry 26:449–472PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Weller SC, Baer RD, de Alba Garcia JG, (2008) Susto and nervios: expressions for stress and depression. Cult Med Psychiatry 32:406–420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. Arcury
    • 1
  • Antonio J. Marín
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community MedicineWake Forest University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Research Associate in the Department of Family and Community MedicineWake Forest University School of Medicine USA

Personalised recommendations