In the news: Hispanic and Latino farmworkers at high risk from pesticide use in agriculture

The Guardian quotes a new study authored by the Farmworker Association of Florida and others. In their article “People of color more likely to be harmed by pesticides, study finds” they shine a light on America’s “dirty divide”. 

Jeannie Economos, pesticide safety and environmental health project coordinator at the Farmworker Association of Florida, is quoted in the article. She said: “We need to get rid of these pesticides and find alternatives. They’re not only poisoning farmworkers, they are in our groundwater, on our food, and depleting our soil.” These numbers speak for themselves:

Roughly 90% of pesticide use in the US is in agriculture, making farmworkers – 83% of whom identify as Hispanic – more vulnerable to the synthetic chemicals intended to kill, repel or control pests.

Twelve out of 14 markers for harmful pesticides, tracked over the past 20 years, were found in the blood and urine of Black and Mexican Americans at levels up to five times higher than those found in white Americans.

Exposure to pesticides has been shown to negatively affect children’s development, and can lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems.

You can find the study, authored by researchers at Texas Southern University, Spelman College, Farmworker Association of Florida, Farmworker Justice, Advance Carolina, Migrant Clinicians Network, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and the Center for Biological Diversity, here:
The study is peer-reviewed and published in the academic journal BMC Public Health.

Read the whole article on the Guardian:

Farm workers in Apopka, Florida.

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