Sunburns and Sun Protection Behaviors among Male Hispanic Outdoor Day Laborers

Zhaomeng Niu, Mary Riley, Jerod L. Stapleton, Michele Ochsner, Germania Hernandez, Louis Kimmel, Daniel P. Giovenco, Shawna V. Hudson, Denalee O’malley, Carolina Lozada, Marién Casillas Pabellón, Carolyn J. Heckman, Elliot J. Coups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Individuals who work outside are at increased risk for skin cancer due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Little is known about UV exposures and sun safety practices of outdoor day laborers, who are disproportionately Hispanic. This study identified the correlates of sunburn and sun protection behaviors in a sample of male, Hispanic day laborers (n = 175). More than half of the participants (54.9%) experienced one or more sunburns when working during the past summer, and 62.9% reported having one or more symptoms of heat illness. The frequency of engaging in sun protection behaviors was suboptimal, including sunglasses use (M = 2.68, SD = 1.71), staying in the shade (M = 2.30, SD = 0.94), wearing sunscreen (M = 2.10, SD = 1.39), and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (M = 1.75, SD = 1.32), based on a 5-point scale (1 = never; 5 = always). Lower education level, higher levels of skin sensitivity to the sun, any symptom of heat illness, fewer barriers to wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and not wearing a wide-brimmed hat were associated with a greater number of sunburns. Factors associated with each sun protection behavior varied. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2524
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Heat illness
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Outdoor day laborers
  • Skin cancer prevention
  • Sun protection
  • Sunburn
  • UV exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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