Sun Safety Among Farmers and Farmworkers: A Review
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Farmers and farmworkers face increased risks of skin cancer from exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) when working outdoors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the evidence from behavioral and intervention studies from the peer-reviewed studies related to sun safety among farmers and farmworkers and identify any gaps in the literature. A comprehensive review was conducted between 1990 and 2013; 22 studies were identified related to behavior and health interventions of sun safety among these targeted groups. The inconsistency of data collection methods makes it difficult to estimate with accuracy any overall meaningful results of behavior. However, from the studies reviewed, farmers and farmworkers most frequently reported wearing some type of hat (23.6%-100%) as a primary method of protection from the sun when working outdoors. Female farmers were more likely than male farmers to use sunscreen and engage in indoor tanning behavior. All sun safety educational interventions studies reviewed reported positive increases in behavioral change. To a large degree, adequate sun protection is lacking and varies geographically among farmers. Although targeted education is key to making improvements on sun protection behavior, aggressive attempts have to be made. Studies related to farmworkers, sun safety behavior, and skin cancer are scarce and more research is needed in this area.
author list (cited authors)
Kearney, G. D., Xu, X., Balanay, J., & Becker, A. J.