The EPA has proposed that children under 16 be barred from handling all pesticides, in a group of proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard. The proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard were made, the EPA said, in order to protect 2 million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure. There is a children’s exemption for family farms.
EPA is proposing significant improvements to worker training in safe usage of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. Increased training and signage will inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law and will help them protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.
Workers and others near treated fields will now be protected from pesticide overspray and fumes.
This proposal represents more than a decade of extensive stakeholder input by federal and state partners and from across the agricultural community including farm workers, farmers, and industry on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Pesticides first established in 1992.