EPA proposes amendments to Worker Protection Standards regarding pesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed changes to 1992’s Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides aimed at further lessening the dangers of pesticide-related illnesses among agricultural laborers.

Included in the proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standard are heightened and more intensive trainings, more stringent rules to help states enforce pesticide rules, propagation of more no-entry posts in areas of pesticide use, and implementing Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards when it comes to respirator use.

Fawn Pattison, a member of Toxic Free NC, a non-profit organization that has made anti-pollution campaigns in North Carolina, said EPA’s rule is a step towards “making the workplace safer,” with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy saying that the proposed changes can benefit 2 million farm workers all over the country.

NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services deputy director of pesticide programs Patrick Jones said amendments to the Worker Protection Standard will automatically make their way into North Carolina’s labor protection laws.

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