If you work with pesticides, you should BE CAREFUL. Pesticides are poisons and you must take many precautions when you work with them. The first step is to be trained in how to handle pesticides.
If pesticides are used where you work, your employer may be required to provide training about pesticides. You should wear protective clothing when you work around pesticides. Below are some basic rules to follow to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
When you come home from the fields,
• Never touch, hug or carry your children until you have bathed, washed and changed your clothing.
• Take off your shoes before going into the house or at least clean them on a rug before entering.
• We recommend that you bathe or, at the minimum, wash your hands and face.
To keep safe, you should also,
• Store your work clothing apart from other clothing & also wash it separately.
• Wash fruit & vegetables before eating them.
• Teach your children to wash their hands frequently.
• Cover toys that are outside when pesticides are sprayed & wash them before they are used again.
If you are sprayed with pesticides during your work or ordered to work on freshly sprayed crops, this could be illegal. You should contact a community organization or a lawyer to find out what your rights are in your situation.
If you feel sick or develop a rash or other ailments because of pesticides, you should see a doctor immediately.
Dalíx is originally from Honduras. She worked at a nursery in Florida where the workers were routinely sprayed with water that smelled of chemicals. At times, they were even sprayed directly with pesticides. Many of them began suffering from headaches and nausea. When they complained to their supervisor about these health risks, the supervisor told them that the plants were more important than the workers. Aside from these dangerous working conditions, Dalíx noticed that the men were being paid differently than the women, even though they did the same work. The company created a wage ceiling that they only applied to the women. Also, the men received regular raises and the women did not. After her complaints to supervisors failed to resolve the problems, Dalíx filed a pesticide complaint with the state pesticide regulation agency because of the dangerous chemicals. She also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because the company discriminated against her by violating the Equal Pay Act and for the other unequal treatment she suffered because of her sex. Thanks to Dalíx and the other workers who came forward, the company was investigated. The state agency ordered the company to fix the dangerous pesticide conditions and to pay a fine. Dalíx and a group of co-workers files a lawsuit against the company. They reached a confidential settlement in their case.