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.
- Sugarcane conditions kill: The deadly epidemic confectioners and soft drink makers ‘can’t walk away from’ by Oliver Nieburg, Confectionery News.
- Study finds dehydration and heat stress drive CKDnT onset by La Isla Foundation.