Health issues of migrant and seasonal farmworkers

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2003 May;14(2):153-64. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2010.0790.


This paper describes the socioeconomic conditions under which the 3 to 5 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States live. Health consequences resulting from occupational hazards and from poverty, substandard living conditions, migrancy, language and cultural barriers, and impaired access to health care are described. Specific problems include infectious diseases, chemical- and pesticide-related illnesses, dermatitis, heat stress, respiratory conditions, musculoskeletal disorders and traumatic injuries, reproductive health problems, dental diseases, cancer, poor child health, inadequate preventive care, and social and mental health problems. By increasing awareness among health care professionals of the plight of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, the authors hope to encourage development of a stronger public health infrastructure and to improve the health status of these individuals.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Agriculture*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce