New Study Shows People of Color Shoulder Burden of Harms Caused by Pesticides
Farmworkers, people of color, and low-income communities have the highest levels of exposure and harm from pesticides, according to a peer-reviewed study published this week in BMC Public Health. The study outlines the extreme disparities in exposure to and harm from pesticides in the US among these communities.
The study, Pesticides and Environmental Injustice in the USA: Root Causes, Current Regulatory Reinforcement and a Path Forward, is the first-ever comprehensive assessment of U.S. disparities in pesticide protections and oversight, according to the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), one of several organizations that contributed to the study. Amy K. Liebman, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health for Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN), is an author in the study.
“This study clearly illustrates the long-term environmental injustices in pesticide exposure that are harming farmworkers and their families and the communities where they live,” Liebman said. “It also underscores that the chain of exposure does not simply begin and end in our fields where farmworkers toil. The injustices start in the communities where pesticides are manufactured.”
The research was conducted by researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in conjunction with farmworker justice organizations, and concluded that greater levels of exposure are compounded by poor farmworker protections and exacerbated by laws and regulations that perpetuate inequities.
“Our regulatory systems exclude farmworkers from basic protections,” said Liebman. “This results in farmworkers and their families being regularly overexposed to pesticides that have acute and chronic health repercussions, and negatively affect the health of agricultural communities. Strong and enforced regulations are needed now.”
Read the Guardian’s article on the study: People of Color More Likely to Be Harmed by Pesticides, Study Finds
Read the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity: New Study Shows People of Color in U.S. Are More Likely to Be Harmed by Pesticides Due to Weak Regulations, Lax Enforcement
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