Article taken from: Pesticide Action Network
EPA recently fined Bayer CropSciences $53,000 for endangering the lives of farmworkers with pesticide exposure in their Puerto Rican research and nursery operations. While this is a tiny drop in Bayer's multi-million dollar budget, we do take it as an encouraging sign.
The good news: When rules are enforced — in this case, the federal Worker Protection Standards (WPS) — employers are held accountable for protecting workers from exposure to hazardous pesticides. The less good news: Enforcement actions like this one are all too rare, and the WPS itself is old, inadequate and in serious need of an upgrade.
But there's more good news. That upgrade is finally happening, and we’re working with partners around the country to make sure the revised law does right by the workers it’s designed to protect. In the Puerto Rico case, Bayer CropScience failed to comply with several requirements of the existing WPS. Pesticide use did not follow label requirements, nor did the employer provide ample water, soap and towels for routine washing or an emergency decontamination area for workers.