Federal Agency Cites New Jockey Health Concerns

Exposure to lead from saddle weights and to residue from synthetic surfaces were among several concerns raised on a new topic page about jockeys' safety posted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on their Web site, the Department of Health and Human Services division reported Oct. 29.

Citing studies by others, NIOSH said the licensed jockey population in 2000 was estimated by the Jockey’s Guild to be approximately 2,700. Between 1993 and 1996, 6,545 injuries occurred during official races. Other studies found that the low body weight requirement for jockeys increases the risk of acquiring eating disorders and adopting unhealthy behaviors in order to control weight, the agency said.

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