Pesticide Exposure Injury Lawsuits. Farm workers are at great danger due to exposure to toxic pesticides. Children born to mothers and fathers who work on farms often suffer extreme birth defects. America’s Children and the Environment (ACE), a division of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, states: “Studies evaluating the role of pesticides in birth defects have established a connection between maternal and paternal exposure to pesticides and greater dangers of offspring having or dying from birth defects.” Pesticides contain toxins that can eventually harm fetuses and children.
Birth Defects from Pesticides Include:
- Undeveloped jaws (Pierre Robin Syndrome)
- No visible sex organs
- No nose
- No ears
- Missing limbs
Florida Farm Workers Exposed
In 2004, three mothers who worked at a migrant work camp in Florida had children who were born with birth defects. The mothers worked as tomato pickers and were exposed to at least two dozen pesticides. One of the mothers quit working two months into her pregnancy and the other two moms both worked until they were 7 months pregnant. One of the children was born without limbs, another had a deformed jaw, and the third was born without a nose or visible sex organs and died after birth.The field where all the mothers worked is run by Ag-Mart, a produce company based in Plant City, Florida that markets tomatoes under the name Santa Sweets. From 1999 to 2003, Ag-Mart was cited three separate times by state inspectors for infractions of pesticide regulations in their farms throughout Florida. These violations included: failure to keep employees out of fields for an adequate time after chemicals were used, failure to make proper protective equipment available, and failure to keep proper records of pesticide use. Florida uses more pesticides per acre than any other U.S. state. Growers are rarely fined when they break the rules. Based upon state records, between 1993 and 2003 inspectors in Florida found 4,609 violations of pesticide regulations, but only an estimated 7.6% were given fines.
Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
Farming companies have a responsibility to protect workers from dangerous pesticides. Authorities found that Ag-Mart failed to keep workers out of the fields for the required intervals after spraying pesticides on the crops. One woman whose child was born with birth defects stated that she was sprayed with pesticides while working. The Worker Protection Standard (more info: http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/twor.html) protects agricultural employees from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides. Standards include: protection during applications, restricted-entry intervals, personal protective equipment, notification to workers about treated areas, decontamination supplies, emergency assistance, pesticide safety training and safety posters, and access to labeling and site-specific information.
Legal Help for Victims of Pesticide Exposure
If you or a loved one worked in a field and were exposed to dangerous pesticides, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified pollutants attorney. Alternatively, call our toll free number: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529). If your child was born with birth defects, you have legal rights.