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Hispanic Farmworkers at High Risk for Skin Disease

Posted: May 15, 2006

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"While these may not be a direct result of farm work, it is likely a result of resources and living environment," Arcury said.

He noted that the farmworkers usually have to share shower facilities and often have limited access to laundry facilities and detergents.

In the second study, researchers interviewed 30 farmworkers to learn more about their knowledge about skin disease. Even though they spend so much time outdoors, few of the farm workers mentioned skin cancer as a potential health problem. The interviews also revealed a common belief among the workers that an individual's susceptibility determines whether they're affected by a skin condition.

"Farmworkers do not acknowledge several skin diseases that should be of great concern, including skin cancer. And personal susceptibility is used to differentiate one's self from others, usually to show superiority," Arcury said.

Any programs designed to reduce occupational skin diseases among farmworkers must challenge these beliefs.