The EPA has drafted a revision to the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard designed to protect some 2 million US agricultural farmers and workers from the pesticides they are exposed to on a daily basis. Exposure to these pesticides account for a disproportionate number of exposure incidents each year.
The major changes are:
- Mandatory annual safety training for anyone who comes into contact with pesticides. This training will also teach farmers and workers about how to reduce “take-home exposure” on clothing worn during the day at work.
- For the first time ever, workers who are exposed to these pesticides must be 18 years of age or older.
- “No Entry” signs must be posted in fields that have just been treated with pesticides as well as creating no entry zones for the equipment that was used to apply the pesticides.
- Increased access to SDS sheets on the pesticides in question.
- Mandatory record keeping to better follow up and track incidents
- Mandatory medical evaluations and fit-testing
- Specifics on the amount of water available for decontamination and eye flushing.
- Anti-retaliation provisions to protect workers.
Now we need the EPA to come out with standards to protect consumers. 🙂