Exposures at day labor corners: using existing georeferenced data to describe features of urban environments

Maria Eugenia Fernández-Esquer, Amy E. Hughes, Sandi L. Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Latino day laborers are male immigrants from mainly Mexico and Central America who congregate at corners, that is, informal hiring sites, to solicit short-term employment. Studies describing the occupational environment of Latino day laborers traditionally measure jobsite exposures, not corner exposures. We sought to elucidate exposures at corners by describing their demographic, socioeconomic, occupational, business, built, and physical environmental characteristics and by comparing corner characteristics with other locations in a large urban county in Texas. Methods: We used multiple publicly available data sets from the U.S. Census, local tax authority, Google's Nearby Places Application Programming Interface, and Environmental Protection Agency at fine spatial scale to measure 34 characteristics of corners with matched comparison locations. Results: Corners were located close to highways, high-traffic intersections, hardware and moving stores, and gas stations. Corners were in neighborhoods with large foreign-born and Latino populations, high rates of limited English proficiency, and high construction-sector employment. Conclusions: Publicly available data sources describe demographic, socioeconomic, occupational, business, built, and physical environment characteristics of urban environments at fine spatial scale. Using these data, we identified unique corner-based exposures experienced by day laborers. Future research is needed to understand how corner environments may influence health for this uniquely vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Day laborers
  • Latino health
  • Neighborhood exposures
  • Occupational exposures
  • Urban context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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