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Why Won’t New York’s Governor Cuomo Ban the Nasty Pesticide Chlorpyrifos which Harms Children?

 

Something really curious is happening in New York State. In June, the New York Assembly passed a bill to ban the nasty pesticide chlorpyrifos that damages the development of children. That’s not the weird part. What’s surprising is that Governor Andrew Cuomo has not signed the bill, despite the fact that the NY Attorney General Letitia James joined five other attorneys general in suing the Trump administration’s federal Environmental Protection Agency because it overturned an Obama administration ban on the pesticide.

“Chlorpyrifos is extremely dangerous, especially to the health of our children,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Yet, the Trump Administration continues to ignore both the science and law, by allowing this toxic pesticide to contaminate food at unsafe levels. If the Trump EPA won’t do its job and protect the health and safety of New Yorkers, my office will take them to court and force them to fulfill their responsibilities.”

“The governor shouldn’t be striving to protect some of the people some of the time, but should protect all of the people all of the time.” — Reid Maki

The other states that joined the suit are Washington, Maryland, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California—the latter is the country’s largest agricultural producer (measured by cash receipts) and has decided to remove chlorpyrifos from the market in 2020.

Studies have also linked chlorpyrifos to autism, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, reduced IQ, loss of working memory, attention deficit disorders and delayed motor development.
Nationally, home use was banned in 2001 because of its impact on children’s developing brains.… Read the rest

10 Stats about Women and Girls on International Women’s Day 2019, March 8, 2019

  • Of the 152 million children trapped in child labor, 64 million are girls [source].
  • 73 million children are trapped in hazardous child labor—27.8 million are girls.
  • 29 million women and girls are in modern slavery—71 percent of the overall total of enslaved individuals [source].
  • Women represent 99.4 percent of the victims of forced labor in the commercial sex industry [source].
  • Women and girls represent 84 percent of the victims of forced marriages, now categorized as a form of modern slavery [source]. There are an estimated 15 million individuals in forced marriages.
  • Worldwide, there are an estimated 67 million domestic workers—3/4 are women [source].
  • 132 million girls were out of school in 2016 [source].
  • 9 in 10 girls complete their primary education, but only 3 in 4 complete their lower secondary education [source].
  • In low-income countries, less than 2/3 of girls complete their primary education [source].
  • 42 million people have fled their homes because of armed conflicts; 50 percent are women; 10 million are estimated to be girls and young women. [source]
  • In 2017, there were an estimated 68.5 million forcibly displaced people, including 25.4 million refugees—half are women and girls. [source]
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127 Groups Ask EPA Not to Reverse Ban on Pesticide Application by Children

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

The undersigned organizations write to oppose any changes by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to the requirements in the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (“WPS”) and Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule (CPA).

Over 15 years ago, an EPA report stated that “pesticide poisoning in the United States remains under-recognized and under-treated…despite the ubiquity of pesticides in our homes, workplaces, and communities, and despite the considerable potential for pesticide-related illnesses and injury.” Farmworkers have one of the highest rates of chemical exposures among U.S. workers and they suffer acute pesticide poisoning every year through occupational exposures and pesticide drift. Studies have shown that agricultural workers suffer serious short- and long-term health effects from exposure to pesticides. The WPS and CPA rules provide vital protections from exposure to toxic pesticides for hired farmworkers, pesticide applicators, their families and the general public in communities across the United States. In revising these rules, the EPA recognized that the weight of evidence suggests that the new requirements, “will result in long-term health benefits to agricultural workers, pesticide handlers,” and “to certified and noncertified applicators, as well as to the public and the environment.”

After more than a decade of stakeholder input and analysis, the EPA revised the WPS and CPA rule to prevent injury and illness to the children, women and men who work around pesticides in agriculture, or who come into contact with pesticides in other settings. EPA found that the new safeguards are necessary to address the known dangers associated with pesticide use. The WPS applies to hired workers and pesticide handlers who labor in farms, fields, nurseries, greenhouses and forests. The CPA rule governs the training and certification requirements of workers who apply Restricted Use Pesticides (“RUPs”) in a variety of settings, including homes, schools, hospitals, as well as agricultural and industrial establishments. RUPs are some of the most toxic and dangerous pesticides on the market.

 

We are concerned that the EPA may weaken critical safeguards meant to protect agricultural workers, the public, and the environment. Among the many important provisions in the rules, the Agency has stated its intent to reconsider the minimum age protections that prohibit children from applying pesticides, the right of farmworkers to access pesticide application information through a designated representative, and protections for bystanders through “application exclusion zones,” which require that an applicator suspend pesticide application if “an unprotected/non-trained person” enters the area around the application equipment.

Undermining these important protections cannot be justified. We urge you to preserve the existing protections and to move forward with full implementation and enforcement.

Respectfully,

127 child, faith, agricultural, health, labor, human rights, consumer and environmental groups, including the Child Labor Coalition have signed the letter.

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CHILD LABOR COALITION statement on new estimates of child labor

Two 13 year old boys digging for gold in a mine in Mbeya region, Tanzania. (c) 2013

Two 13 year old boys digging for gold in a mine in Mbeya region, Tanzania.

 

The Child Labor Coalition applauds progress in child labor remediation indicated by new estimates released by the International Labour Organization, but expresses concern that progress in fighting child labor is slowing

September 22, 2017
Contact: Reid Maki, (202) 207-2820, reidm@nclnet.org

(Washington, DC) The Child Labor Coalition (CLC), whose 37 member organizations fight exploitative child labor and represent millions of Americans, welcomed new child labor estimates released Tuesday, September 19th by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which found that the number of children in child labor is 10 percent lower than 2012. The CLC, however, is concerned that the pace of ending child labor has slowed decidedly.

During the period of 2000 to 2012, the ILO found “significant progress” in the reduction of child labor as the estimate of children in child labor fell from 246 million to 168 million—a reduction of 78 million. Progress was pronounced among younger children and girls, who experienced a 40 percent decline in child labor. The greatest portion of that decline occurred in the period 2008-2012, despite a global economic recession.

The new data from the ILO estimates child labor trends from 2012 to 2016 and found that child labor dropped from 168 million to 152 million—16 million fewer children representing a 10 percent drop. Between 2008 and 2012, the level dropped from 215 million to 168 million—47 million children or 22 percent. The most recent data represents a one-third reduction of the prior four years.… Read the rest