EPA Proposes Training, Communication to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure

Published March 6, 2014

EPA has proposed revisions to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard in order to protect U.S. farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure, the agency announced in a recent press release.

Proposed changes to the standard include increased frequency of mandatory trainings for farm workers, which would include instruction on reducing take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing.

The proposed changes would also expand mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides; prohibit children under the age of 16 from handling all pesticides; and require that information specific to pesticide application, including safety data sheets, be made available to farm workers or their advocates.

"EPA's revised Worker Protection Standard will afford farm workers similar health protections to those already enjoyed by workers in other jobs," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

EPA requests public comment on these proposed changes within 90 days of the proposal's publication in the Federal Register. Specifically, the agency seeks input related to studies and scientific articles used as the basis of the proposed rule, clarity of the proposed revisions, and any alternatives to the proposed changes. For more information, please see EPA's Web page devoted to the proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standard.