The Farmworker Health Act Needs Your Call Today!

Action starts: August 17, 2010
Action ends: August, 30 2010

Your call is needed to help pass a simple, health protective bill for farmworkers.

PSR-LA is a co-sponsor of AB 1963 (Nava), The Farmworker Health Act, which would provide a much needed fix to the 1974 Cholinesterase Medical Supervision Program. The program is supposed to monitor and protect farmworkers from pesticide poisoning but does NOT currently work.

Take action now! The Senate is scheduled to take a vote tomorrow.

Cholinesterase is a nerve enzyme that when exposed to certain neurotoxin pesticides, such as organophosphate and carbamate, becomes depressed. This exposure can result in immediate harm to muscle coordination, decreased male fertility, spontaneous abortion, nerve damage and cancer.

Today, nearly three decades later, it is impossible to judge this program’s effectiveness, because there is:

  • No data is reported to any State agency,
  • No State oversight takes place and there is
  • No way of knowing if workers are protected.

AB1963 will:

  • Enhance the current program by implementing modern technologies: laboratories that test farmworkers for overexposure would be required to electronically report cholinesterase (ChE) test results to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).
  • Ensure that farmworkers can be protected:  DPR, along with California Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), will be able to assess the current program and make recommendations to protect farmworkers from pesticide overexposure.
  • Empower farmworkers by informing them of their pesticide exposure: Doctors who treat farmworkers that handle organophosphate and carbamate will be required to inform the worker with a copy of the ChE test results and any recommendations within 14 days of being tested.

Read our article about AB 1963 from March to for more in-depth look at this worker and public health issue.

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