This summer, farmworkers in California have been working with extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and, in Monterey County, high rates of COVID-19 as they harvest and pick the food we eat every day. Then, there’s another health concern, and it’s been around for much longer — pesticide exposure.
For the past 20 years, researchers have measured the effects of early pesticide exposure on hundreds of children of farmworkers. The study is called the CHAMACOS study, and it’s shown links between pesticides, and lasting neurodevelopmental problems, like ADHD. The findings have influenced some changes, like restrictions around spraying near schools or during school hours. But even though the study has been around for two decades, there hasn’t been a huge lawsuit. In this interview, we hear why that is.
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