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A story of impact: NIOSH pesticide poisoning monitoring program protects farmworkers.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-108, 2011 Dec; :1-2
In 2005, three migrant farmworkers living in the same region of Florida gave birth to infants with birth defects within eight weeks of each other. Though suspected, the possibility of workplace pesticide exposure during the maximum sensitivity period of their pregnancies was not initially confirmed because one of the three women had not been working in Florida during this period. The SENSOR-Pesticides Program facilitated collaboration between states that revealed that the three mothers worked for the same tomato grower during their maximum sensitivity periods - two at the grower's Florida operations and one in North Carolina. Thorough investigation was not able to establish a causal link between the mothers' possible workplace pesticide exposure and their infants' birth defects. However, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspected the tomato grower's farms and found several pesticide and record keeping violations. Later, North Carolina created a taskforce whose findings motivated the state legislature to pass anti-retaliation and recordkeeping laws, training mandates to protect the health of agricultural workers, and funding for improved surveillance. The Florida state legislature provided funding to add ten new pesticide inspectors.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-chemicals; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Pesticides; Farmers; Families; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Pregnancy; Prenatal-exposure; Birth-defects; Surveillance-programs; Regulations; Biological-effects
Numbered Publication; Impact Sheet
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-108; B12212011
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
OH; FL; NC
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division