Turtle Island Restoration Network, as part of a group of 122 organizations highlighted disproportionate harm from pesticides for Black, Indigenous and People of Color and low-income, low-wealth communities to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In two recent peer-reviewed studies, unequal pesticide regulatory protections in the United States result in pesticides disproportionately harming people of color and low-income communities. Both urban and rural environments are affected through the lifecycle of pesticides, from manufacture to use.
The EPA was urged to protect all people from pesticides, including reducing the burden on communities that are receiving disproportionate amounts of harm.
The 122 organizations highlighted several ways to do so, including:
- Eliminating or reducing the pesticide safety double standard
- Implementing a system to adequately monitor and account for real-world harms to vulnerable communities
- Strengthening worker protections
- Reducing unintended pesticide harms
- Adequately protecting children, the most vulnerable to pesticide harm
- Codifying prior informed consent for the export of unregistered pesticides
- Assessing and rectifying regulatory capture within the EPA pesticide office
- Addressing impacts to communities near agrochemical production and storage facilities
- Protecting communities from disasters related to agrochemical production facilities
The EPA was urged to use their authority to act against pesticide harm now, rather than wait. Decades of harm can be ended by the EPA and their authority.