Skip to main content
Farmworkers grow and harvest the food we eat every day. They don't deserve to be poisoned. Stand with our farmworkers for stronger protections from pesticides.
Lance Cheung / USDA
Farmworkers feed us all. Yet they are exposed to pesticides throughout their workday. How can you help strengthen the rules protecting them? Take action

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. Take action now to strengthen the Worker Protection Standard

Spotlight

Pesticides: The Workplace Hazard The EPA Is Ignoring

Members of the farmworker justice movement are calling on Congress to implement stronger protections for farmworkers from hazardous pesticides. The federal government estimates that there are 10,000–20,000 acute pesticide poisonings among workers in the agricultural industry annually.

Farmworkers Demand Protections from Pesticides

Coming from across the nation and from the frontlines of exposure to high levels of toxic pesticides, farmworkers met with their members of Congress on July 16, 2013 to call for stronger protections from pesticides. These farmworkers and their allies seek to strengthen outdated safeguards the EPA has failed to revise for more than 20 years—despite overwhelming evidence of their inadequacy.

EPA to Farmworkers: Ask the Boss to Show You the Papers

After more than two decades, the EPA has announced revisions to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, an outdated standard intended to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure. While advocates welcomed signs of life in progress to provide stronger protections from pesticides for approximately 2 million farmworkers, the proposal raises questions about the EPA’s understanding of the population the WPS is meant to serve.

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.