OLYMPIA – Pesticide application is an important public health and workplace safety issue. This year the Legislature passed SB 6529 creating a work group, charged with reviewing data to help develop strategies to make pesticide application safer.
Rep. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle) has been appointed to the Pesticide Application Safety Work Group.
“As the son and grandson of farmworkers and laborers, I am eager to serve on this important workgroup to ensure the hard working men and women picking our crops are working in a safe environment,” Valdez said.
As noted by the Department of Health, from 2010 to 2016, 287 farm workers reported illness due to pesticide drift exposure. According to the U.S. Census, Latinos accounted for about 12.5% of Washington’s population. However, the Department of Health reports Latinos accounted for 40% of pesticide-illness cases in Washington in 2015.
Rep. Valdez, a first generation Mexican-American originally from Moses Lake, is concerned with the safety and working conditions of those laboring in the agricultural industry.
The work group must submit a report to the Governor and the appropriate legislative committees that includes findings, recommendations, and draft legislation aimed at improving the safe application of pesticides by November of this year.