The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard to help better protect U.S. farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure.
The proposal represents more than a decade of extensive input industry on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides by federal and state partners and by various members of the agricultural community, including farm workers and farmers.
The current Standard was established in 1992.
The proposed revisions are designed to protect workers while ensuring agricultural productivity and preserving the traditions of family farms. The proposals include significant improvements to worker training regarding the safe use of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. Increased training and signage is included to inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law and help them protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.
Workers and others near treated fields will now be protected from pesticide overspray and fumes. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms.
More information on the EPA’s Proposed Worker Protection Standard is available online.
Source – EPA