Working Conditions of Brazilian Immigrants in Massachusetts
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Brazilian immigration to Massachusetts and other states in the US grew significantly in the last two decades. There is a lack of data about the working conditions and health and safety hazards faced by Brazilian immigrant workers. We surveyed over 500 workers in Eastern Massachusetts through a community-based participatory research project to explore occupational and immigration factors that may represent a risk to the health of Brazilian immigrant workers, who mostly work in the construction, housecleaning, and food services segments of the state labor force. Our pilot study suggests that Brazilian immigrant workers are exposed to chemical, ergonomic, physical, and psychosocial job hazards and have experienced a variety of health symptoms that may be associated with these work environment exposures. Since most Brazilian workers have not received proper training to recognize the hazards, there is an urgent need for the implementation of culturally adequate training programs and enforcement of safety and health regulations to prevent occupational injuries and fatalities.
KeywordsWorking conditions of Brazilian immigrant Health and safety of Brazilian immigrants Occupational health of Brazilian immigrants
Project COBWEB was supported by grant R25 ES12588 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). We would like to thank Brazilian immigrants in the Greater Boston area for their participation in the survey.
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