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Farmworkers in Florida have to work in “dangerously hot” heat for 116 days of the year, Sam Bloch reported in The Counter. These farmworkers, according to the CDC, are 20 times more likely to die from heat than other US civilians. Despite the high levels of fatalities farmworkers face in Florida each year, the state has refused to pass legislation designed to protect workers from the heat. Indeed, State Senator Victor Torres, according to the article in The Counter, has introduced heat illness prevention bills for the past three years. They have failed each time.
Horrible Conditions:According to OSHA, nine farmworkers in Florida “suffered severe and fatal injuries caused by the heat.” Many activists, Bloch says, posit the number is much higher. A recent study found that farmworkers in Florida “have a high burden of dehydration and experience adverse changes in kidney function during their workdays.” Another found that many had elevated core temperatures by the end of the day. This heat, coupled with lack of adequate protection measures, has resulted in the death of many farmworkers, including Procopio Magaña, who died last year of heatstroke.
Monsanto has lost another appeal — this one a $25 million damages award to a San Francisco resident who suffered from cancer after spraying Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on his property for more than 26 years, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Why This Matters: There are thousands of cases pending against Monsanto for Roundup — a common weedkiller used in residential yards all across the U.S.
EPA’s acting chief of enforcement sent a memo to staff last week (that The Hill obtained) calling for them to “[s]trengthen enforcement in overburdened communities by resolving environmental noncompliance through remedies with tangible benefits for the community” with a particular emphasis on “cornerstone environmental statutes.”
Why This Matters: The Biden administration can immediately make progress correcting environmental injustice through fair and strong enforcement of current laws
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