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Advocacy Campaign

Protecting People From Pesticides

Pesticide Lake - The Poisoning of the Workers of Apopka, Florida

Once a bass fisherman’s heaven, Lake Apopka needed millions of government cleanup dollars to undo the decades of pesticide runoff that turned it into a toxic brew of chemicals. Our government spent additional millions studying the health effects of the local wildlife during the cleanup. However, the people who worked those fields were all but ignored, and are suffering the effects forty years later.

March 24-31st is Farmworker Awareness Week. For a behind the scenes look at meeting the workers featured in this film on and on the page – Read Now

Our Food, Toxic Fields.

Farmworkers represent the backbone of our agricultural economy and their work is some of the most physically demanding labor in any economic sector. They are also among the least protected from hazards on the job and have one of the highest rates of chemical exposures among all U.S. workers. Off the job, they often live in or near treated fields, where harmful pesticides can drift into their homes.

Poisonous Impacts.

Among farmworkers, 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings occur every year. Beyond the acute poisonings, there are long-term, chronic health effects such as cancer, Parkinsons’ Disease, asthma, birth defects and neurological harms, including developmental delays and learning disabilities.

Children of farmworkers are particularly at risk. Pesticides cling to workers' skin and clothing long after they return home, putting their children at risk.

Protections Must Be Strengthened.

A healthy, safe, and fair food system would protect us all and safeguard the health and economic needs of farmworkers, farmers, rural communities and consumers. Shifting away from reliance on hazardous pesticides is a key step toward this goal. But as long as harmful pesticides are in use, farmworkers need better protections in the field.

Let’s Get It Right.

After more than a decade of broken promises and delays, EPA is now poised to strengthen the rules protecting farmworkers—but the agency needs to do so now and it needs to get it right. We’re working in Congress, at the EPA and in the White House to ensure the strongest protections are put in place. But we can’t do it alone. Join us by taking action today.

Spotlight

The Toxic Secret of California’s Salad Bowl

The farmworkers who help bring fresh fruit and produce to your table aren’t protected by the safety standards most workers in the U.S. enjoy. The farmworkers’ reality is often a nightmare of back-breaking work and repeated exposure to toxic chemicals.

Infographic: Following the Fruits of a Romantic Date

First dates require a special touch, like a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a basket filled with luscious strawberries, or a bottle of the finest wine. But what about the people and places that harvested those crops before the date? How do they fare?

1.1 Billion

Pounds of pesticides applied to crops annually in the U.S., resulting in 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings among farmworkers each year.