Characterizing Heat-Related Illness in Central Florida Fernery Workers: A Pilot Study

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/308323
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Characterizing Heat-Related Illness in Central Florida Fernery Workers: A Pilot Study
Author(s):
Mac, Valerie V; Semple, Marie E; McCauley, Linda A; Runkle, Jennifer R; Tovar, Jose Antonio; Economos, Eugenia
Lead Author STTI Affiliation:
N/A
Author Details:
Valerie V Mac, RN, BSN, valerie.mac@emory.edu; Marie E Semple, BA; Linda A McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN; Jennifer R Runkle, BS, MSPH, PhD; Jose Antonio Tovar, BA, MA; Eugenia Economos
Abstract:

Poster presented on: Saturday, November 16, 2013, Sunday, November 17, 2013

Introduction: Heat-related illness (HRI) is emerging as a serious public health concern with trends of increasing surface temperatures. Certain occupational groups are at a high risk for HRI, including agricultural workers. Fernery workers are a subpopulation of agricultural workers who face conditions of uncompensable heat stress where typical homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining core body temperatures (CT) are hindered by low airflow and elevated humidity. 

Purpose: The goal of this pilot study was to create baseline physiologic and descriptive data for fernery workers by characterizing the relationships between personal factors and physiologic responses to heat stress in their work environment. 

Methods: In partnership with the Farmworker Association of Florida, a consecutive convenience sample of 8 men and 12 women were studied from a population of fernery workers in Central Florida during July 2012. Measurements included body composition, heart rate (HR) and core body temperatures (CT); work intensity; hydration; work tasks; and self-reported HRI symptoms were obtained from participants. Environmental measurements of wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) were captured using real-time local weather data. 

Results: Workers displayed variability in core body temperatures (CT) and HR with respect to body composition and work activity. WBGTs reached levels that are considered to be high-risk on all study days and nearly half of the workers exceeded recommended CT limits on at least 1 workday. Ongoing analysis includes examination of self-reported heat-related illness symptoms and work tasks.

Conclusions: This pilot provided the first descriptive data of heat-related symptoms coupled with simultaneous physiologic data in healthy, adult fernery workers. Efficiency of methods encourages future studies. 

Public Health Implications: Baseline physiologic data regarding individual risk factors and physiologic responses to work in heat-hazardous environments provide the foundation for future studies to direct heat prevention strategies that decrease heat-related health disparities in agricultural workers and other vulnerable worker populations.

Keywords:
Climate Change; Heat Illness; Occupational Health
Repository Posting Date:
19-Dec-2013
Date of Publication:
19-Dec-2013
Conference Date:
2013
Conference Name:
42nd Biennial Convention
Conference Host:
Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference Location:
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Description:
42nd Biennial Convention 2013 Theme: Give Back to Move Forward. Held at the JW Marriott
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_GB
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_GB
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleCharacterizing Heat-Related Illness in Central Florida Fernery Workers: A Pilot Studyen_GB
dc.contributor.authorMac, Valerie Ven_GB
dc.contributor.authorSemple, Marie Een_GB
dc.contributor.authorMcCauley, Linda Aen_GB
dc.contributor.authorRunkle, Jennifer Ren_GB
dc.contributor.authorTovar, Jose Antonioen_GB
dc.contributor.authorEconomos, Eugeniaen_GB
dc.contributor.departmentN/Aen_GB
dc.author.detailsValerie V Mac, RN, BSN, valerie.mac@emory.edu; Marie E Semple, BA; Linda A McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN; Jennifer R Runkle, BS, MSPH, PhD; Jose Antonio Tovar, BA, MA; Eugenia Economosen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/308323-
dc.description.abstract<p>Poster presented on: Saturday, November 16, 2013, Sunday, November 17, 2013</p><b>Introduction</b>: Heat-related illness (HRI) is emerging as a serious public health concern with trends of increasing surface temperatures. Certain occupational groups are at a high risk for HRI, including agricultural workers. Fernery workers are a subpopulation of agricultural workers who face conditions of uncompensable heat stress where typical homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining core body temperatures (C<sub>T</sub>) are hindered by low airflow and elevated humidity.  <p><b>Purpose</b>: The goal of this pilot study was to create baseline physiologic and descriptive data for fernery workers by characterizing the relationships between personal factors and physiologic responses to heat stress in their work environment.  <p><b>Methods: </b>In partnership with the Farmworker Association of Florida, a consecutive convenience sample of 8 men and 12 women were studied from a population of fernery workers in Central Florida during July 2012. Measurements included body composition, heart rate (HR) and core body temperatures (C<sub>T</sub>); work intensity; hydration; work tasks; and self-reported HRI symptoms were obtained from participants. Environmental measurements of wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) were captured using real-time local weather data.  <p><b>Results: </b>Workers displayed variability in core body temperatures (C<sub>T</sub>) and HR with respect to body composition and work activity. WBGTs reached levels that are considered to be high-risk on all study days and nearly half of the workers exceeded recommended C<sub>T </sub>limits on at least 1 workday. Ongoing analysis includes examination of self-reported heat-related illness symptoms and work tasks. <p><b>Conclusions: </b>This pilot provided the first descriptive data of heat-related symptoms coupled with simultaneous physiologic data in healthy, adult fernery workers. Efficiency of methods encourages future studies.  <p><b>Public Health Implications</b>: Baseline physiologic data regarding individual risk factors and physiologic responses to work in heat-hazardous environments provide the foundation for future studies to direct heat prevention strategies that decrease heat-related health disparities in agricultural workers and other vulnerable worker populations.en_GB
dc.subjectClimate Changeen_GB
dc.subjectHeat Illnessen_GB
dc.subjectOccupational Healthen_GB
dc.date.available2013-12-19T17:29:49Z-
dc.date.issued2013-12-19-
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-19T17:29:49Z-
dc.conference.date2013en_GB
dc.conference.name42nd Biennial Conventionen_GB
dc.conference.hostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursingen_GB
dc.conference.locationIndianapolis, Indiana, USAen_GB
dc.description42nd Biennial Convention 2013 Theme: Give Back to Move Forward. Held at the JW Marriotten_GB
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.en_GB
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