Journal of Community Health

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Analyzing Factors Associated with Trash Pickers’ Health Status: Census Data in a Major City in Colombia

  • Lina MartínezEmail author
  • Blanca Zuluaga
  • Sergio I. Prada
Original Paper


This study aims to identify factors associated with the probability of trash pickers feeling physically or mentally ill and assesses differences by gender. To achieve these, we estimated multivariate regression models by using data from a census’ update of 3109 trash pickers in Cali-Colombia in 2015. Outcomes are defined by two binary variables for whether the trash picker reports 14 or more days during the last month with physical and mental illness. Factors included demographic, family, psychological, socioeconomic and job characteristics. We found gender differences in several risk factors. Also a strong link between physical and mental health was found. Trash picker women are more vulnerable than men, public policy interventions aimed at prevention and treatment of mental health problems will have a positive side effect on their physical and mental health.


Trash pickers Gender Colombia Mental health Physical health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Martínez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Blanca Zuluaga
    • 2
  • Sergio I. Prada
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad Icesi – POLISCaliColombia
  2. 2.Universidad IcesiCaliColombia
  3. 3.Centro de Investigaciones Clínicas, Fundación Valle del LiliCaliColombia

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