Boston University Public Health School recently presented its final report on the industrial health study it conducted in Ingenio San Antonio (ISA), in which it concludes that there is no evidence that the labor practices of the company have contributed to its workers developing Chronic Renal Disease (CKD / CRI).
The research study team evaluated ISA’s labor practices during the 2009-2010 harvest, as well as the chemical products used by the company both now and in the past.
“We found no evidence that the current work practices or the chemicals used by ISA currently or in the past are generally accepted causes of CRI”, states the report presented last August 30.
“Based on the research described in this report, we did not find any evidence whatsoever to conclude that the practices and chemicals used by ISA are contributing to its workers developing CRI. To determine whether an association actually exists will require the production of new scientific knowledge,” researchers reiterated.
Boston University also investigated other factors associated to CRI (CKD) without finding anything that links working conditions to the disease.
“We did not find any evidence in our review of the medical literature that heat stroke (volume depletion and muscle damage) and systemic infections (leptospirosis and hantavirus) are generally accepted causes of CRI, and we only found very limited evidence that exposure to these agents is associated to CRI”, they indicated in their conclusions.
The study commissioned to this prestigious university in November 2008 was the result of an agreement between Nicaragua Sugar (NSEL) and the Chichigalpa Association for Life (ASOCHIVIDA), the most important association of CRI patients in Nicaragua, within the frame of a dialogue convened by the World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor and Ombudsman (CAO), with the objective of finding evidence that linked ISA’s work practices to CRI (CKD).
The researchers determined that the following phases of their work will be focused on collecting additional information on exposure and health and investigating their potential link to CRI (CKD), both within ISA and in other areas of Nicaragua’s west region.