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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
Original Articles

The Incidence of Green Tobacco Sickness Among Latino Farmworkers

Arcury, Thomas A. PhD; Quandt, Sara A. PhD; Preisser, John S. PhD; Norton, Deborah MD

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Abstract

We estimated the prevalence and incidence density (ID) and the risk factors of green tobacco sickness among minority farmworkers in North Carolina. Using a prospective surveillance design, 182 farmworkers were interviewed up to 5 times at biweekly intervals in 1999. The green tobacco sickness prevalence was 24.2%, whereas the ID was 1.88 days per 100 days worked. Greater work experience (5+ years, ID = 0.87; first year ID = 2.41) and tobacco use (ID of 1.18 vs 2.39) were negatively associated with green tobacco sickness. Task (eg, priming ID, 4.04; topping ID, 1.86; barning ID, 0.62) and working in wet clothing (25% of workdays ID, 2.97; fewer than 25% of workdays ID, 1.29) had the largest effect. More effort must be directed toward preventing this occupational illness that affects workers who have little control over workplace safety.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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