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EPA updates pesticide standards to protect farmworkers

When I was growing up in the apple growing communities of Central Washington, I was exposed to pesticides when I worked in the orchard and even when I was walking home from school.

My father, a farmer, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is linked to pesticide exposure. I learned about the link between this kind of cancer and pesticides when I heard a story on National Public Radio. It was about the children of farmworkers, who worked with their parents in the fields. They were experiencing high rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

In my opinion, it’s really important to protect people from pesticide exposure.

It’s been 20 years since the U.S. Environmental has updated its pesticide safety standards for farmworkers.

The new provisions will help ensure that farmworkers nationwide receive annual safety training, children under the age of 18 are prohibited from handling pesticides, and workers are aware of the protections they have under the new standards and have the tools they need to protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.

“We depend on farmworkers every day to help put the food we eat on America’s dinner tables – and they deserve fair, equitable working standards with strong health and safety protections,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Monday. “With these updates we can protect workers, while at the same time preserve the strong traditions of our family farms and ensure the continued the growth of our agricultural economy.”

The revisions will publish in the Federal Register within 60 days. For more information on the EPA’s Worker Protection Standard, visit: www2.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/revisions-worker-protection-standard.

<div style="width: 100%; margin: auto; text-align: center;">Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist</div>

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