Skip to main content
x

Farmworkers deserve protection from pesticides: Defend important regulations and take part in National Farmworker Awareness Week #NFAW2018

 

Farmworkers face substantial health risks at their jobs, including exposure to pesticides.  At Migrant Clinicians Network, we have spent decades fighting for a stronger Worker Protection Standard, and in 2015, a revised WPS laid out significant increases in protections -- an important win for farmworker health, although the revised WPS lacked important provisions like medical monitoring. Nonetheless, MCN celebrated, applauding the EPA’s efforts for raising the minimum age of pesticide handlers to 18, and increasing access to information that workers receive about the pesticides that have been applied at their workplace, among other advances.

Child Eating Food

Illustration by Jessica Johnson

 

Farmworkers face substantial health risks at their jobs, including exposure to pesticides.  At Migrant Clinicians Network, we have spent decades fighting for a stronger Worker Protection Standard, and in 2015, a revised WPS laid out significant increases in protections -- an important win for farmworker health, although the revised WPS lacked important provisions like medical monitoring. Nonetheless, MCN celebrated, applauding the EPA’s efforts for raising the minimum age of pesticide handlers to 18, and increasing access to information that workers receive about the pesticides that have been applied at their workplace, among other advances.

This week is National Farmworker Awareness Week, when we take notice of the significant health and safety risks that farmworkers encounter to put food on our table, and envision how we can better protect their health on the job. Instead, this year, we are forced to look backward, as the Environmental Protection Agency threatens to weaken the revised WPS for which we had fought so hard.  In December, the EPA announced it is reconsidering key protections, including the minimum age requirement.

Now, more than ever, the voices of clinicians need to be heard. The minimal standards on the books are threatened to be cut back, while our farmworker patients continue to be at substantial risk as they work to grow and harvest the food our nation relies on for our dinners. This National Farmworker Awareness Week, please let the EPA know that you support provisions protecting minors from pesticide exposure and other protections afforded under the revised Worker Protection Standard. 

This post was paid for by generous individual contributions to MCN to support our advocacy efforts on emerging issues. Please donate to MCN today to help us continue this important work to supporting the health needs of the mobile poor. 

Rating