The Association Between Skin Rashes and Work Environment, Personal Protective Equipment, and Hygiene Practices Among Female Farmworkers

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The objective of this study was to assess work-related hygiene practices and the frequency and location of skin rashes due to cutaneous contact with crop-associated materials (e.g., pesticides) for female nursery and fernery workers in Central Florida. A cross-sectional, community-based participatory research study of 237 female nursery and fernery workers between the ages of 19 and 43 years with significant cutaneous contact with foliage crops was conducted using a self-report questionnaire and a skin rash chart assessment tool. Of the 237 farmworkers surveyed, 37.1% (n = 88) reported a rash on at least one area of their bodies. Women who were pregnant during the study were 4.7 times more likely to report more than 30% total body surface area (TBSA) covered by rash compared with non-pregnant fernery workers (p = .045; 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.04, 21.35]). Further research is needed to better understand the development of skin rashes among farmworkers, to generate effective prevention strategies.

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