Background: The reliance on Latino migrant day labor in the U.S. is increasing. Prospective data on day laborers' work and health experience in non-agriculture settings are lacking and outcomes are generally restricted to injury rates.
Methods: An ambidirectional study was conducted to quantify the number of job and job task changes held over 12 months in a cohort of 73 migrant day laborers and assessed the relation between work type, health symptoms, and blood lead level.
Results: On average, participants worked 2.4 different jobs over the past year averaging 41.5 hr per week. Construction work was associated with a twofold increase in sino-nasal and respiratory symptoms in both adjusted and unadjusted models and was associated with increased blood lead levels.
Conclusions: Despite day labor status, workers had relatively stable employment. Respiratory symptoms were common and often improved when away from work suggesting that workplace irritant exposure is likely. Migrant day laborers working construction are vulnerable to adverse health effects associated with irritant and lead exposure.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.