A new report about farm worker children examines birth defects, neurological and behavior disorders, respiratory disease, as well as leukemia and other childhood cancers and their connection to pesticides. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) released Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides.
The report is a tool for consumers, policy-makers, health and safety trainers, advocates, those who serve farm workers, and those who benefit daily from their hard work.
Pesticide exposure occurs at work in the fields and also at home. Farm workers may bring their families into contact with pesticides through their clothes or unsafe storage of chemicals.
However, thousands of children all over the country are more directly exposed to pesticide residues while they work harvesting fruit, vegetable, and flower crops. Children often work with their parents in the fields in order to provide the basics for the family.
Agriculture is one of the three most dangerous industries in the nation, and yet every year across the country close to 500,000 farm worker children and youth work to bring food to our tables.
Learn more about child labor in agriculture.