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Journal Article

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in the United States: A Review of Health Hazards, Status, and Policy

Carol Sakala
The International Migration Review
Vol. 21, No. 3, Special Issue: Migration and Health (Autumn, 1987), pp. 659-687
DOI: 10.2307/2546616
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2546616
Page Count: 29
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in the United States: A Review of Health Hazards, Status, and Policy
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Abstract

Although the occupation and associated living conditions of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in the U.S. pose exceptional health hazards to the workers and their dependents, relatively few occupational health professionals have been involved with this group. This article examines the basis for this neglect and proposes a definition of the population that should be considered in farmworker health policy. It then reviews existing evidence regarding hazards of four major occupational exposures -- pesticides, the sun, injuries, and poor field sanitation -- and policies that have been developed to address these hazards. The extremely negative health consequences of farmworker living conditions, which are indirect occupational hazards, are also summarized. Numerous policy, planning, and research recommendations are made. Adequate solutions for this impoverished and powerless group, however, will require significant sociopolitical advances, such as are developing with unionization and other forms of political organization.

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