|Migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) have disproportionately higher rates of ill health than other populations1. They have increased proportions of chronic health conditions due to labor conditions, specifically exposure to pesticides and herbicides1, 2. Other conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and under nutrition contribute to the average lifespan of a farmwork being only 45, nearly 30 years less than that of an average American1, 2.
With a majority of the farmworkers in the Willamette Valley being seasonal migrant Latinos, it is important to address the issues that they face. The state of Oregon has said that by the time many Hispanics are in the 8th grade, their reading comprehension is only that of a forth grader and the average farmworker in the United states has only six years of education3.
Housing conditions for MSFW vary and depend on the resources available. For those who can obtain residency at a low income housing development for farmworkers, conditions may be considerably nicer than locations on farms and in labor camps. While not all farms provide the same conditions, labor camps are often not equipped with adequate facilities and amenities like running water, kitchens, or bathrooms in the living areas; 10.6% of Hispanic farmworkers have reported that they do not have either water, toilet, or bathing facilities in their homes3.
|Farmworker Conditions / Condiciones de Trabajadores Translation Needed
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1. Oregon Health Sciences University (2009)Reducing Pesticide Exposure in Minority Families. Available at www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/ (accessed October 2008).
2. Oregon Health Division, Center for Disease Prevention and Epidemiology (1999) Health Issues Among Migrant/Seasonal Farm Workers. Available at governor.oregon.gov/ (accessed August 2009).
3. Moreno, A. (no date) Oregon Department of Human Services: Migrant Health Fact Sheet. Available at www.oregon.gov/DHS/ (accessed August 2009).