Research Scientist

Environmental Health of Latinas in Cleaning Occupations (EHLCO)

Environmental Health of Latinas in Cleaning Occupations (EHLCO)

Did you know that everyday cleaning can involve exposure to chemicals with adverse health effects linked to respiratory and dermal issues, cancer and endocrine disruption? Cleaning products often contain a “chemical soup” of ingredients that are not required to be tested for safety by any federal agency before going to market. Females who work in domestic service occupations and who also clean at home are particularly susceptible due to compounded exposures. In the U.S., most maids and housekeeping cleaners are female, and about half are Latino or Hispanic (U.S. Department of Labor, 2020).

Knowledge about health risks for cleaning professionals may be limited by lack of job training, unavailability of safety materials in non-English languages, and limited personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves. This is a growing public health concern, as Latinos comprise 17.8% of the estimated U.S. population, and is expected to reach 27.5% by the year 2060, which is an increase of 93.2% from 2016 to 2060 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018). The EHLCO study, conducted in partnership with Seton Hall University as dissertation research, explored the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and environmental health needs of a bicultural population of Latina women who clean occupationally. See Research Page
 
These tips from OSHA can help you clean healthy:
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