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Agriculture

EPA Updates Pesticide Rules For Farm Workers

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a final set of rules meant to reduce pesticide exposure for farm workers. 

Federal officials haven’t updated pesticide requirements for farm workers since 1992. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the previous rules were lacking.

Now, anyone who applies pesticides must be older than 18 and undergo annual training. Before there was no age requirement and training only happened every 5 years.

“This is a community that has been left behind," McCarthy says. "They’re looking for fair and equitable treatment, and this is what we hope to provide them.”

The new rules will affect the nearly 2 million agricultural workers who apply or come into contact with pesticides on farms, and in greenhouses and nurseries.

The changes could cost large farms upwards of 400 dollars a year.