Extreme Working Conditions in Sugar Cane Fields Have Caused Fatal CKDnT - Kidney Disease

Another effect to the high demand for sugar - deaths from working too hard harvesting sugarcane. It is estimated that the extreme and very harsh working environments in Central American sugarcane fields have caused the death of about 20,000 people over the past 10 years from Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-Traditional Causes (CKDnt).

Working in the fields harvesting sugarcane is a grueling job. The worldwide increase in temperatures has made the problem worse in the past decade.

From an article by Confectionery News:

He said workers woke at 4:30 am to laboriously cut at sugarcane with knives in 30 degree C [86 degrees F] heat for six days a week, seldom taking water breaks for fear of reduced productivity.

The La Isla Foundation reported on a study involving the causes of chronic kidney disease in sugar cutters, and found that the kidneys were damaged due to repeated heat stress and dehydration. Providing better working conditions giving workers access to shade, water, and rest time during the work day are likely ways to intervene this disturbing trend.

For more info, read these articles.

+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC


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