Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides

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AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs Releases a Report Examining Pesticide Exposure and Its Effects on Farmworker Children

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The risk is high for farmworker children whose lives are surrounded by dangerous agricultural toxins

Today, just one year after the President’s Cancer Panel released its groundbreaking report highlighting environmental causes of cancer, the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) released Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides. The report, authored by AFOP’s Health and Safety Programs, is the first volume in The Fields, a new annual publication series that will center on farmworker health and safety issues. Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides is focused on farmworker children, examining birth defects, neurological and behavior disorders, respiratory disease, as well as leukemia and other childhood cancers and their connections to pesticides.    

“The weight of evidence described in our report, Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides, is overwhelming, if not conclusive,” notes Levy Schroeder, Director of Health & Safety Programs at AFOP. “The risk is high for farmworker children whose lives are surrounded by dangerous agricultural toxins.”

In a ten-month immersion in evidence-based findings on pesticide exposures, farmworker children and various illnesses, including cancer, the AFOP Health & Safety team reviewed primary scientific research published in professional medical and public health journals. In an effort to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the issue of pesticide exposure to farmworker children, the team also conducted focus groups and interviews with farmworker parents around the country. The parents shared stories of exposure, of having to make choices they know are not healthy for their children, of their fears for their families, and of hope that one day things will change.

The Fields, Volume 1, 2011, Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides is available for download on the AFOP website at http://afop.org/newsroom/publications/. A hard copy can also be obtained by sending a request via email to Valentina Stackl at stackl(at)afop(dot)org

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs is a non-profit, national federation of 52 non-profit and public agencies that provide training and employment services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all farmworkers and their families through advocacy, education, and training. For additional comment or an interview, please contact Ayrianne Parks at 202.828-6006 ext. 140 or Parks(at)AFOP(dot)org

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