• 36°

Pesticide training essential

By Darrell Blackwelder
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY ó Each year in the U.S., more than 110,000 pesticide poisonings are reported by poison control centers. Combine this with about 23,000 emergency room visits each year for the same reason, and you can see why pesticide safety is so important.
Pesticide exposure is one of the major health risks for all farm workers, especially those responsible for application. Even though the EPA rigorously tests each new pesticide before its release onto the market and enforces strict pesticide safety regulations, thousands of farm workers are still exposed each year, partly because information and training on pesticide safety is almost always given in English, while most U.S. farm workers are native Spanish speakers.
Misunderstanding and miscommunications about pesticide safety not only affect farm workers, but also those living in homes with farm workers. In a study by the Agricultural Health Study of Iowa and North Carolina, pesticides were found in farm workersí homes on almost every surface, including childrenís toys and play areas, surfaces where food is prepared, and even in carpet dust (http://aghealth.nci.nih.gov/pdfs/IAPesticideResiduesAtHome2007.pdf).
The N.C. Agromedicine Institute recognized this dangerous trend and developed a new, crop-specific pesticide safety training toolkit available in both English and Spanish. Currently available crops are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, landscaping/turf, cucumbers, green peppers, grapes, strawberries and tobacco. More information can be found at http://service004.hpc.ncsu.edu/toxicology/extension/pesticides.htm or by contacting Catherine LePrevost at 919-515-2274 or celeprev@ncsu.edu.
This new toolkit is up-to-date with all commonly used pesticides included, but it can also be modified to fit the needs of a specific farm or landscaping business. The toolkit has also been approved by the EPA for federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) worker training requirements.
Upon completion of the training, trainees will receive a WPS Worker Verification Card from the EPA which is good for five years. All materials given to trainees are provided in their native language to increase awareness and understanding, and trainees are encouraged to post these materials in an area that is frequently visible so the content is constantly reinforced. Employers may also choose to post these materials in high-traffic work areas along with other important work information.
North Carolina isnít the only place where the increased risk of pesticide exposure to non-English speaking farm workers has been noticed. The EPA is examining a petition that, if passed, will require bi-lingual (English/ Spanish) labeling of all pesticides by manufacturers based on the fact that most U.S. pesticide applicators are native Spanish speakers with little to no ability to read or speak English.
The original EPA announcement can be found at www.regulations.gov under EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0014. Comments will be accepted on this website until the EPA makes its final decision.
If you would be interested in learning more about this innovative new pesticide safety training toolkit or would like to host this training for your employees, contact the Rowan County Cooperative Extension at 704-216-8970.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

BREAKING NEWS

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development