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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Enigma of hardwood floor finishing

Lenore S. Azaroff, ScD, Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, 978 934 2587, Lenore_Azaroff@uml.edu, Anne Hien Bui, Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development, 42 Charles St., Dorchester, MA 02122, Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health, 42 Charles St., Dorchester, MA 02122, and Davida Andelman, Bowdoin Street Health Center, 230 Bowdoin St., Dorchester, MA 02122.

Hardwood floor sanding and refinishing involve hazards including extremely heavy and awkward equipment, high voltage, and exposure to wood dusts, allergens, asthmagens, and a variety of volatile solvents. The most immediate hazard is fire, which has killed at least three floor finishers in the Boston area in the recent year. These hazards disproportionately affect Vietnamese and other immigrants, yet these same groups are least able to navigate regulatory systems or obtain access to alternative products. Protective policies are also hampered by legal restrictions on regulation defined as falling under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Dorchester Occupational Health Initiative, an Environmental Justice Partnerships for Communication project, pooled the expertise of immigrant businesses and workers, community organizations, unions, industry specialists, and fire prevention and public health experts to design an approach to this issue. This presentation will describe the obstacles, opportunities, and processes involved in this collaboration and invite suggestions from audience members.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

United with the Community to Recognize Occupational Health and Safety Rights as Human Rights

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA