Farmworkers Make Their Voices Heard in the Call for Stronger Protections from Pesticides

New Solut. 2015 Nov;25(3):362-76. doi: 10.1177/1048291115604428. Epub 2015 Sep 16.


Farmworkers are calling for stronger workplace protections to prevent pesticide exposure and reduce health risks for workers and their families. In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) as the primary set of regulations protecting the nation's 1-2 million farmworkers from occupational pesticide exposure. After more than 20 years, the EPA proposed revisions to the WPS. The proposed revisions were posted in the Federal Register and made available for public comment on 19 March 2014. In response to these revisions, farmworker organizations conducted outreach in agricultural communities to document and submit farmworkers' first-hand accounts of pesticide exposure as public comments. Through this process, farmworkers--a typically underrepresented, poorly protected, and disenfranchised population--made their voices heard and advocated for changes to improve their health and safety. Their comments in this article articulate the need for stronger workplace protections and enforcement measures to reduce health risks for workers, families, and communities.

Keywords: EPA; WPS; agriculture; farmworkers; pesticide exposure; worker health and safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent Health
  • Farmers*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Occupational Exposure / standards*
  • Occupational Health
  • Pesticides / standards*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Women's Health


  • Pesticides