March 25, 2020 | V3 Views:
Pesticides and Other Chemicals
Pesticide exposure. Pesticides pose risks of short- and long- term illness to farmworkers and their families. Workers who mix, load or apply pesticides (known as pesticide handlers) can be exposed to toxic pesticides due to spills and splashes, defective, missing or inadequate protective equipment, direct spray, or drift. Workers who perform hand labor tasks in areas that have been treated with pesticides face exposure from direct spray, drift or contact with pesticide residues on the crop or soil.
Pesticides can present a hazard to applicators, to harvesters reentering a sprayed field, to family members due to take-home contamination, and to rural residents via air, ground water and food. Workers may be exposed to pesticides in a variety of ways, including: working in a field where pesticides have recently been applied; breathing in pesticide “drift” from adjoining or nearby fields; working in a pesticide-treated field without appropriate PPE; eating with pesticide-contaminated hands; eating contaminated fruits and vegetables; and eating in a pesticide-contaminated field. Workers may also be exposed to pesticides if they drink from, wash their hands, or bathe in irrigation canals or holding ponds, where pesticides can accumulate.