Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
BITENCOURT, Daniel Pires; RUAS, Álvaro César and MAIA, Paulo Alves. Analysis of the contribution of meteorological variables to thermal stress associated with death among sugarcane cutters. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.1, pp. 65-74. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012000100007.
Sugarcane cutters perform heavy work under adverse conditions. Environmental factors can be an aggravating factor for thermal stress among these workers. This study analyzed the atmospheric conditions on the day of death of 14 sugarcane cutters in São Paulo State, Brazil. Historical data for temperature, humidity, wind, and sunlight were compared with the same meteorological variables on the days the deaths that occurred. The meteorological data were obtained from a reanalysis of the National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR). In 10 of the 14 cases, the temperature on the day of death was higher than or equal to the mean plus the standard deviation. In six of these cases, the temperature reached or came close to record levels. These findings suggest that atmospheric conditions can be an important factor in the analysis of overall work conditions for sugarcane cutters.
Keywords : Heat Stress Disorders; Occupational Health; Atmosphere.