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Study finds pesticide exposure in the U.S. is up to five times greater for people of color

Brian Evans via Flickr Creative Commons

In this discussion, we review the report's findings and recommendations with environmental experts and get firsthand accounts from a farmworker.

A new study finds that the risk of harm from pesticide exposure in the U.S. is up to five times greater for people of color.

The study, “Pesticides and Environmental Injustice in the USA: Root Causes, Current Regulatory Reinforcement and a Path Forward,” also says a weak regulatory environment and lax enforcement of existing protections play a significant role in the disproportionate risk faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color, as well as people in low-income communities.

The peer-reviewed report was published this month in the academic journal BMC Public Health. It’s a collaboration between researchers with historically Black colleges and universities, environmental conservation groups, and racial justice and farmworker advocacy organizations.

In this discussion, we’ll explore the study’s findings and recommendations with Jeannie Economos, pesticide safety and environmental health coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida, and Nathan Donley, environmental health science director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

A former farmworker in Apopka, who we’re only identifying as Yesica, also shares her firsthand experiences with pesticide exposure and adverse health impacts.

To hear the discussion, click on the Listen button above.

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John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPRââââ