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California's Medical Supervision Program is a biomonitoring program that measures cholinesterase activity in bloog samples from agricultural workers. Employers are required by law to contract with physicians who have registered for this program, all of whom are included in this list.

Includes EPA manual "How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard For Agricultural Pesticides - What Owners and Employers Need To Know" and an excerpt specifically for clininicians regarding medical evaluation and respirator fit test. See also the medical evaluation questions in English and Spanish.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Worker Protection Standard (WPS) provides basic workplace protections to farmworkers and pesticide handlers to minimize the adverse effects of pesticide exposure. EPA announced major revisions to the WPS in September 2015. MCN and FJ's fact sheet provides a summary of the revised regulation.

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In 2015, for the first time in over 20 years, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The WPS provides basic workplace protections for agricultural workers to reduce the risk of pesticide exposre. This issue brief overviews the major revisions that are particularly relevant for clinicians caring for agricultural workers. 

On Monday August 18, 2014 MCN submitted technical comments to the EPA regarding the proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standard.  View MCN's recommendations for advancing stronger safeguards to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure. 

MCN's Director of Environmental and Occupational Health, Amy K. Liebman, appeared on the radio broadcast Epicenter: West Marin Issues on KWMR 90.5 FM to talk pesticides and the Worker Protection Standard. Liebman was joined by Hector Sanchez of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. Host Frederick Smith discusses with Liebman and Sanchez a variety of pesticide-related issues, including protections for farmworkers and their families, farmworkers' risks of pesticide exposures, how pesticides are regulated, their health effects on farmworkers and their families, and what healthcare providers can do to mitigate, diagnose, manage, and report pesticide exposures.

During the interview Liebman referenced the Agricultural Health Study, which is available here.

The Occupational Health and Safety Resource Center is a virtual repository of Spanish educational materials, data sources, and links to bilingual informational websites on occupational health and safety issues related to agricultural work. It also contains an ample list of national and state agencies that have produced materials in Spanish for farmworkers’ health-related problems.

MCNs own Deliana Garcia helped in being a part of the advisory committee to this resource center.

What is the objective?  To facilitate a central access point to high quality Spanish educational materials on agricultural occupational health and safety issues for people conducting work on health promotion and prevention activities and on workers’ rights and problems related to agricultural work.

Who are the target audiences? Health-outreach workers (promotores), community advocates, health providers, contractors/employers, farmworkers and their families, and others interested in the health and safety issues of agricultural workers.

What areas are included? The materials cover five key relevant areas: 1) Farmworkers’ rights; 2) Injury prevention; 3) Respiratory illnesses; 4) Heat illnesses; and 5) Pesticide exposure.

How did we do it? To develop the Virtual Resource Center, the process entailed:

  • Asset mapping of educational, informational and research materials available in Spanish related to the five mentioned areas.
  • Selection of materials using the following criteria: accurate information, culturally and linguistically adequate (including literacy level), relevant to health area, and visually acceptable quality.
  • Insertion of resources into an excel format under five different categories, including source, type of material, and description of its content.

Development of new materials: to complement the existing educational resources, we developed a “Promotores Training Manual on Occupational Health and Safety of Agricultural Workers”.  Based on an ethnographic framework, the manual presents the perspective of agricultural workers on the five mentioned areas (their stories) and provides community health workers with tools on how to conduct prevention and promotion activities. It also refers them to existing resources.  We also produced a series of Spanish and selected indigenous languages Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on these areas.

This website and training material were developed to give communities and promotores ways to help farm workers learn how to protect themselves from pesticide exposure.

The project and all materials on the website were developed by the California Poison Control System in collaboration with the the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California, Davis and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) provides for federal regulation of pesticide distribution, sale, and use. All pesticides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered (licensed) by EPA. Before EPA may register a pesticide under FIFRA, the applicant must show, among other things, that using the pesticide according to specifications "will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.''

Evidence is increasingly emerging about chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure. A growing body of epidemiological evidence demonstrates associations between parental use of pesticides, particularly insecticides, with acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain tumors. Prenatal, household, and occupational exposures (maternal and paternal) appear to be the largest risks.
This report from the American Academy of Pediatrics reviews findings from population studies and related animal toxicology studies linking early/ parental exposure to pesticides to adverse birth defects and health conditions in children.

© AAP - 2012; This document is copyrighted and is property of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Board of Directors.

EPA has revoked regulations that permitted small residues of the pesticide carbofuran in food.