By Administrator Gina McCarthy and Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez We depend on our nation’s two million farmworkers to help provide the fruits and vegetables we feed our families every day. But each year, thousands of farmworkers become ill or injured from preventable pesticide exposure, leading to sick days, lost wages, medical bills, and absences from school. Farmworkers deserve the same kinds of protections from workplace hazards that workers in other industries have enjoyed for decades.
“President Obama has called closing gaps of opportunity a defining challenge of our time. Meeting that challenge means ensuring healthy work environments for all Americans, especially those in our nation’s vulnerable communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We depend on farmworkers every day to help put the food we eat on America’s dinner tables—and they deserve fair, equitable working standards with strong health and safety protections. With these updates we can protect workers, while at the same time preserve the strong traditions of our family farms and ensure the continued the growth of our agricultural economy.”
As summer heats up, colonies of stinging insects that started out as just a little nest under a roof eave have grown into a nest that you might consider removing. Many people are nervous when dealing with stinging insects. Try not to stress too much as treatment usually only takes a few minutes.
In 2013, the Pennsylvania Poison Center received 1,125 cases of pyrethrin or pyrethroids insecticide exposures.
The safe disposal of chemical products is an important practice for both applicators and consumers.
Now that Old Man Winter has lost his firm grip on much of our area, one of the activities that will happen rather quickly this spring is the transfer and application of liquid fertilizer on the farm. Many farms take advantage of using polyethylene (poly) tanks for transportation, storage and application of fertilizers and chemicals.
Here is a newspaper story (reprinted with permission) that was run in the Daily News about the Huntingdon County Master Gardeners facilitating a Poison Prevention Program to nearly 90 first graders! Our Penn State Pesticide Education Program encourages any group to share their stories and photos of the Poison Prevention Program with us!
Typically, the third week in March is designated as Poison Prevention Week, which is March 15-21, 2015.
On February 23, 2015, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), which supports the work of the nation’s 55 poison control centers, and the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University, announced that they have teamed up to focus on pesticide safety and education. The two organizations will bring their collective expertise and experience to developing bilingual health and safety educational materials for the general public related to pesticides such as antimicrobials, herbicides, and insecticides. Click for links to the full joint press release from each organization.
The Pesticide Education Program, with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, has added a Spanish curriculum to our education efforts.
We are very excited to introduce two new staff members of the Penn State Pesticide Education Program. Ed Crow started with us in August as a wage-payroll employee, and Eric Denemark just started as full-time employee 2 weeks ago.
It's December, so the best holiday is right around the corner! Oh, you know the one, The Pennsylvania Farm Show is happening January 10th through January 17th, 2015! For the 99th time, this eight-day long festival will draw thousands of visitors to interact with the agricultural industry. Admission is absolutely FREE; however, you will need to pay to park. View the complete Farm show schedule, map, and details for more information. In order to celebrate this wonderful event, the Penn State Pesticide Education Program will once again be partnering with Master Gardener volunteers to reach the thousands of children and parents that enjoy The Pennsylvania Farm Show every year. Our exhibit this year will highlight pollinators, their importance, and how we can protect them. Children (and we know some adults) will play interactive games in order to learn about pollinators.
Dishwasher and detergent pods are a conveniently packaged option that can result in less waste and greater product efficiency than its traditional counterparts. While the pods, or also referred to as packs, might provide a solution for homeowners, parents and family members should be conscious of the potential accidental poisoning, especially as the pods and packs contain a highly concentrated amount of product.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is again offering the CHEMSWEEP Program to those agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in the selected 18 counties. The program is available in different counties each year and the 2015 counties include: Bucks, Crawford, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Montgomery, Perry, Philadelphia, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Westmoreland.
This blog article was put together by our newest part-time staff member, Ed Crow. Although Ed is officially retired from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, he still wanted to remain active helping pesticide applicators.
On Sept. 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, confirmed the presence the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, (WHITE)) in Berks County, as part of its responsibility to identify plants/weeds, insects and mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses that impact Pennsylvania’s natural resources, flora and economy. On Nov. 1, 2014, the Commonwealth announced a quarantine with the intent to restrict the movement of this pest. This is the first detection of Spotted Lanternfly in the United States.
Well, it has been quite a while that we have updated our readers about who is on staff at the Penn State Pesticide Education Program. I also realized that we needed to update our staff photos. However, getting us all together in one place can be quite the challenge! In a future blog, we will share some of the projects that keep our office busy throughout the year. Also, we want to introduce all our part-time and intern staff, who play a big role in our program's success. And when you see us out and about, please stop and say HELLO as we would love to hear from you!
That time of year is almost here: winter recertification meeting season! December through March is when the majority of face-to-face recertification credit meetings are held throughout the state. The most comprehensive place to find recertification meetings is the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's (PDA) PaPlants website, where all approved recertification meetings are organized.
National Farm Safety and Health Week was September 21-27. EPA promoted the importance of a safer and healthier agricultural work environment. The 2014 theme was "Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters." This emphasizes EPA's efforts to support the health and safety of farmworker communities. The "EPA Recognizes National Farm Safety and Health Week: Supports Safer and Healthier Agricultural Environment" news story highlighted the following items.