We must consider the effects of pesticides on vulnerable populations and acknowledge systems that create inequities in our communities. As we work collectively to pursue social justice and equity in our communities, it is important we consider who stands to lose and who benefits in all environmental decisions and actions. At NCAP, we believe that dismantling injustices in our environment and working to overcome them is crucial in pursuing change. When considering pesticide regulations, sensitive populations must set the bar. When we protect the most sensitive, we are all better protected. NCAP also realizes the risks our communities face associated with climate change, and that the climate crisis is a “risk multiplier” that will disproportionately affect low-income communities and historically underserved communities of color. As a community organization, NCAP is working to improve social and environmental determinants of health across the Northwest and strives to empower those who are directly affected by pests and pesticide issues.
Farm workers in the Northwest and across the country face undeniable discrimination, working hard laborious jobs that present dangerous workplace conditions. Risks of pesticide exposure are often compounded by immigration status, low-paying positions and no sick leave or health insurance. Farm workers, on any given day, must fight for their rights to: safe working conditions, accurate and culturally-relevant information, personal protective equipment (for pesticide application), access to hand washing facilities and a bathroom, fair housing and a safe place to raise their children without the fear of being exposed to pesticide drift and contaminated water.
NCAP is dedicated to farm worker advocacy and family health. By working together with those who are impacted to minimize effects of pesticide drift, improve water quality and reduce workplace exposure, NCAP strives to create lasting change.
Human Exposure to Pesticide Drift: Washington State Report (English) / Exposición Humana por Deriva de Pesticidas: Informe del Estado de Washington (Español)
NCAP co-authored this 21 page report summarizing important research documenting the rise of human exposure to harmful pesticide drift in Washington State. The Department of Health has reported that 90% of the people who reported health impacts caused by pesticide drift were not employed by the farm that applied the chemicals. Farm workers and their families bear the burden of a disproportionate amount of risk associated with pesticide use. The report includes personal stories of farm workers whose health has been negatively impacted by drift, background information on health risks associated with pesticides and an overview of efforts to reduce exposure by drift.
NCAP advocates for policies that ban the use of harmful pesticides, improve safeguards for people and communities, and protect water and wildlife. The government has a responsibility to develop and enforce policies that protect the health and safety of people and the environment. It is our responsibility to hold the government accountable. NCAP believes that effective policies and equitable access to resources and education will lead to better choices for our environment.