Occupational Exposure, Knowledge and Protective Behaviors Among Korean Dry Cleaners

Research Trainee: Ae Suk Jeong, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Community Health Nursing at the University of Michigan

Faculty Researcher: Oisaeng Hong, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Michigan

Health and safety hazards in dry cleaning workers have been identified by scientists in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and other researchers. Despite study results highlighting the alarming risks and hazards in the dry cleaning industry, studies on understanding workers’ knowledge of safety and health hazards and their occupational health protection behaviors are limited.

The purpose of the project is to assess health risks and protective behaviors among Korean drycleaners. Three specific aims will be addressed in this study: (1) assess knowledge of occupational exposure and health effects; (2) identify stages of protective behavioral change; and (3) determine prevalence of occupational injuries and risks among Korean drycleaners.

The proposed study will utilize both qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (survey) approaches to meet specific aims. Study participants will be recruited from the Federal Korean Drycleaners Association members in Michigan. Results from this study will provide important preliminary data for developing educational intervention strategies to prevent occupational injuries and illness among Korean drycleaners.