Giving Compass' Take:
- Dana Cronin discusses a lawsuit that was filed after a group of migrant farmworkers in Illinois were exposed to dangerous levels of pesticides and notes that few states have a systematic and accessible method of tracking such occurrences.
- Does a lack of monitoring and tracking of exposures disproportionately impact migrant workers? How can donors support initiatives that cement stronger protections for migrant workers?
- Learn more about migrant farmworkers in North America.
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In late July 2019, a group of migrant farmworkers from south Texas was working in a cornfield in DeWitt County, Ill., when suddenly a crop duster flew overhead, spraying them with pesticides. Panicked, the crew, which included teenagers and a pregnant woman, ran off the field with clothes doused in pesticides.
As a result of the pesticide exposure, the crew of migrant workers suffered both short and long-term health consequences that are ongoing to this day, according to the lawsuit. Symptoms include “shortness of breath, blurred vision, painful eye and skin irritation, vomiting, headaches, excessive fatigue, and dizziness.”
Pesticide exposure is an issue in agricultural regions where pesticide use is ubiquitous. However, a Harvest Public Media investigation found that no agency or department keeps records of how often exposure occurs. Certain states, including California and Iowa, track pesticide exposure, but recordkeeping differs so much state-to-state that comparing the data is impossible.
Read the full article about pesticide exposure by Dana Cronin at Harvest Public Media.