Systemic Racism and Environmental Injustice Among Latino Farmworkers and Communities
This Latin Post article addresses the systemic racism and environmental injustice experienced by Latino farmworkers in the US, focusing on their exposure to the herbicide paraquat. It emphasizes the racial disparities in land ownership and representation within the agricultural industry, with white Americans owning the majority of the land and Latino farmworkers often working on land they don't own. The article discusses the health risks faced by these workers, such as pesticide exposure and suffocation hazards. Paraquat exposure is highlighted as a significant risk factor for Parkinson's disease, with Latino farmworkers and their families living near agricultural areas being particularly vulnerable. The article explains the neurotoxic effects of paraquat on the brain, specifically the substantia nigra responsible for movement control. The US Environmental Protection Agency is criticized for neglecting occupational pesticide exposure and disregarding people of color in risk assessments. The article suggests that Congress should improve laws and regulations, grant partial jurisdiction over pesticide exposure to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and address systemic racism and environmental injustice in the food system. To combat these issues, the author proposes grassroots activism, collaboration with law firms specializing in toxic exposure, and the filing of class action lawsuits for affected farmworkers to seek compensation.