Tobacco Heat Exposure

Introduction – epidemiology

Heat Exposure: For all workers working outdoors during the summer season heat exposure is a serious threat. For shade tobacco workers that threat is increased due to the work environment. Shade tobacco is grown under tents raising their work environment temperature by 10 degrees. It is important for them to stay hydrated and take breaks when needed.

Heat-related illness
Farmworkers can prevent heat-related illness by following a few easy guidelines:

  • Rest in the shade if they are feeling weak.
  • Make sure they eat enough salt on very hot days.
  • Wear a hat while working outside.
  • Drink a lot of fluids. Drink water all day while you work. Working in the fields is very hard. When people sweat, they lose a lot of water. This water needs to be replaced to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Stay away from soda, coffee, beer, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Another important thing to remember: farmworkers should keep the water they take to the fields covered so it does not become contaminated with dirt or pesticides.
  • Use chilled water bottles or other cold containers to cool down your body by placing the cold container on your arms, neck or forehead.

Farmworker diagnosis and treatment links:

Farmworker prevention and education links: