Sep 28, 2015 2:17 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is strengthening 20-year-old standards designed to protect farmworkers from toxic pesticides.
The changes would bar almost anyone under 18 from handling pesticides and require buffer zones around fields to protect workers from drift and fumes. Farms would have to provide annual training sessions on pesticide risk to workers and post no-entry signs when the most toxic pesticides are applied.
The EPA announced the changes on Monday.
The EPA says that between 1,800 and 3,000 cases of pesticide exposure are reported each year at farms, nurseries and other agricultural operations covered by the current standards. The EPA has said those standards aren't working and that many cases of exposure aren't reported.
Farm owners and their immediate families would be exempt from the rules.