Research

How Depression Impacts Efforts to Address Obesity Among Farmworkers

August 10, 2018

Biological, lifestyle, and environmental factors all affect obesity, both in the general population and among farmworkers. However, less is known about the relationship between mental illness, such as depression, and obesity in the agricultural workforce. A recent study by investigators at the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) sheds light on this gap in research and suggests that depression may reduce the effectiveness of workplace weight-loss programs. 

WCAHS Funds Seven Summer Projects as Part of a Short-Term Funding Cycle

July 19, 2018

This summer, seven agricultural health and safety projects will be carried out around the Western Region with funding from the Wester Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS). In March, WCAHS offered short-term funding through grants of up to $7,500 for research and outreach projects that address agricultural health and safety issues in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada.

WCAHS Funds Innovative Small Grants Ranging from Cannabis Production Hazards to Community Water Quality

February 20, 2018

New research is taking place at WCAHS, thanks to its Small Grant Program, which provides funds to graduate students and faculty members from around the region to carry out projects related to agricultural health and safety. An annual call for proposals is released each year. The 2017-2018 cycle closed in July with a total of 13 submissions, resulting in six proposals that were funded after a thorough external review process.

Congratulations to Our Research Award Winners!

November 28, 2017
Research Paper Award

The California Heat Illness Prevention Study (CHIPS) received a research paper award at the June 2017 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health conference held in Logan, Utah.

The study is the first to conduct comprehensive physiological monitoring in Latino farmworkers in the USA and involved a number of WCAHS personnel, including study coordinator Diane Mitchell and WCAHS Founding Director Marc Schenker.

WCAHS Has a New Four Year Research Project

November 27, 2017
Helping Dairy Workers Reduce Their Exposure to Infectious Disease

We received exciting news this fall that an additional research project, “Reducing occupational exposure to zoonotic pathogens in California dairy farmworkers,” has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, increasing the number of primary WCAHS research projects to five.

Reducing Lower Back Pain Related to Farming

November 08, 2017
Small Grants: Big Impact

Lower back pain is one of most serious health problems for farmworkers, and it can result from the intensive manual work that farming requires, such as carrying heavy objects or working long hours in a stooped posture.

Biosolarization: A Sustainable Agriculture Practice that Improves Farmworker Safety

September 26, 2017
Small Grants, Big Impacts

My research in sustainable agriculture focuses on alternatives to fumigants, a class of pesticides used to control soil-borne pests, such as worms and weeds. Fumigants are commonly used prior to planting in strawberry and almond production in addition to many other California crops. They can be quite toxic, with short- and long-term health effects including irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system as well as nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, death.