The relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals are number 3,8, and 13
Occupational heat stress morbidity and mortality has been a point of social just contention in the last decade. These articles are reports of farmworker deaths from California, Florida, and most recently, Georgia (from 3 months ago).
The occupational safety and health administration has issued general recommendations for the protection of workers in all hot work environments, primarily water, rest, shade, using ads like the one pictured here; however, no federal policies exist for protecting workers from heat.
In 2016, NIOSH and experts came together to update this document Criteria for a Recommended Standard for Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments, which had not been updated since 1986.
The American College of Governmental Industrial Hygienists sets limits that a healthy worker can be repeatedly exposed without adverse health effects
These limits are 38 and 38.5
Carried over monitors from pilot to track activity, core temperature, and heart rate during the workday
Added devices: to monitor temperatures in the home- to assess “recovery” conditions and to monitor microenvironment of each farmworker in the workplace- to assess more precise heat exposure, accounting for shade cloths, trees, UV radiation, etc.
These results reflect the symptoms reported during the work week. These were summarized if the participant “ever reported” this symptom on at least one of their workdays.
Dr. Joseph G. Grzywacz and Dr. Antonio Tovar
To advance sustainable development while facing climate change, interventions and policy is needed to ensure a healthy and productive workforce.
We have found that partnerships between academic, community, employer, and media communities is paramount for projects that support global sustainability efforts.
The engagement of a media partner has allowed us to examine new avenues for disseminating our research findings.
The use of research findings to create evidence-based trainings for workers provides a product to participants who might have participated in the research, but also helps to maintain communication with communities that opened their doors to researchers.
The heat trainings from the PISCA project will continue, including the training of promotoras to carryout the trainings. Also, the training has not been adapted for Creole agricultural workers from Haiti. In this picture is Stefka Mentor, a registered nurse who led a focus group with Creole workers to gather feedback on the training after she translated the training to creole. The team is also working with Public Citizen, a nonprofit lobby group in Washington DC, for the inclusion of data from The Girasoles study in a heat stress report they are writing. This group plans to petition The Occupational Safety and Health administration this year regarding a Federal Heat protection standard. We will be speaking at the press conference for the release of the report next week.
Information about The Girasoles Study and it’s findings are making their way into the media nationally and at the local level.
We worked with La Isla Network, a nonprofit organization that specializes in media engagement and videography to advocate for workers
We created a 3 minute video for widespread viewing as well as a longer 10 minute video
The Girasoles (Sunflower) Project
The Girasoles (Sunflower) Project
Center for Disease Control and Prevention | National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Occupational Safety and Health Research (R01)
McCauley, L. Principal Investigator (2014 – 2018)
“The Girasoles (Sunflower) Study.” Funded by
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
• Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
• Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth,
full and productive employment, and decent work for all
• Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
Occupational Heat Stress
The Moultrie Observer
Naples Daily News
Recommended Core Body Temperature Limits
38.0°C (100.4°F) – For workers not acclimatized
or medically cleared.
38.5°C (101.3°F) – For workers acclimatized,
medically screened and monitored. Worker core
body temperature should never exceed this
Farmworker Association of Florida
membership organization of
more than 10,000 agricultural
Addressing agricultural worker
health and safety issues since
5 Girasoles Study
3 Workdays of Biomonitoring + Surveys
- Urine Specific Gravity
- Blood osmolality/Blood
- Heat-related Illness
Comprehensive Heat Stress Monitoring
Actigraph Accelerometer records physical activity in
three planes of motion
Heart rate monitor measures heart
beats during work
CorTemp® monitor records the internal
temperatures from the pill
Home monitor records the overnight temperatures from the home
iButton records the temperature and humidity at your workplace
Heat-Related Illness Symptoms During Work
19% 15% 14% 9% 5%
HEADACHE DIZZINESS NAUSEA OR
Core Temperatures 2015-2017
82% reached 38.0°C
Length of time over 38.0°C
Median= 69 minutes
Range = 1-555 minutes
24% reached 38.5°C
Length of time over 38.5°C
Median= 22 minutes
Range = 1-318 minutes
Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in Girasoles
Presence of AKI:
• 36% of participants had the criteria indicating AKI on at least one workday
Stages of AKI:
• 32% had stage 1 AKI on at least one workday
• 3% had stage 2 AKI on at least one workday
• 0.4% had stage 3 AKI on at least one workday
• The odds of AKI increased 22% for each 5 bpm increase in mean heart rate and 37% for each
5 degree (°F) increase in mean heat index
(KIDIGO Criteria: Increase of post-shift serum creatinine by at least 0.3 mg/dL OR ≥ 1.5 times the pre-shift creatinine)
Pesticide & Heat Stress Education for Latino Farmworkers
that is Culturally Appropriate (PISCA)
• Pilot testing interventions to reduce heat related illness
• Metabolomic analysis of workers with heat exposure, with
biomarkers of Acute Kidney Injury
• Expansion of HRI trainings:
– More on-worksite trainings
– Provision of trainings at the Ag extension centers
• Engagement with Media and policy makers
Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD –
Priority Action Areas
• Building capacities of
educators & trainers
• Advancing policy