The NC Agromedicine Institute is a University of North Carolina Institute.

Member Universities:
East Carolina University
North Carolina State University
NC Agricultural & Technical State University
Risk Factors Associated with Injuries and Illness in Puerto Rican Agricultural Farmers
Project Name: Risk Factors Associated with Injuries and Illness in Puerto Rican Agricultural Farmers

Principal Investigators: Jaime L. Matta, PhD, Ponce School of Medicine

Project Type: Core Research Feasibility

Project Description: Agricultural activities in PR are increasing. There are over 40,000 agricultural workers in this island. The Agriculture Department of Puerto Rico is providing economic incentives for young farmers. Farm workers are exposed to environmental, mechanical, biological and chemical factors that can cause injuries and adverse health effects. Puerto Rico is an island exposed to very high levels of ultraviolet radiation (NOAA 2001). Machinery utilized in agricultural activities can produce injuries. Farmers are frequently exposed to complex mixtures of herbicides and pesticides that can cause adverse health effects. During field activities, farmers are exposed to insects that are carriers of infections and can produce inflammatory reactions. Consequently, it is important to identify specific factors that affect the health and induce injuries in our population of farmers in order to develop optimal worker safety guidelines. This can reduce human suffering and economic losses caused by diminished productivity. The goal of this project is to create an epidemiological questionnaire and to perform a small pilot study with farmers in order to identify specific risk factors for work-related injuries and adverse health effects. Using statistical analysis we will identify the most common health and injuries aspects. The knowledge gained is expected to lead to the future creation of more effective educational programs and materials aimed at reducing the risk of injuries and disease associated with agricultural work.

Project Accomplishments:

Presentation: Skin Cancer in Farmer Workers

Brochure: Agricultura y la Salud de su Piel: Las Plantas

Brochure: El Sol y la Pesca

Brochure: Los animales y la Agricultura

Brochure: Los elementos de Trabajo y la Pesca