[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (598)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (39)
    • Antimicrobial (17)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (33)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (25)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (3)
    • Children (108)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (84)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (16)
    • contamination (150)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (12)
    • Drinking Water (14)
    • Ecosystem Services (12)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (162)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (502)
    • Events (88)
    • Farm Bill (18)
    • Farmworkers (190)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (24)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (13)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (33)
    • Holidays (37)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (70)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (245)
    • Litigation (340)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (1)
    • metabolic syndrome (2)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (20)
    • Microbiome (26)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (9)
    • Office of Inspector General (2)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (160)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (8)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (6)
    • Pesticide Regulation (771)
    • Pesticide Residues (180)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Plastic (6)
    • Poisoning (18)
    • Preemption (41)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (117)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (14)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (18)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (583)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (454)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (10)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

12
Jan

Beyond Pesticides: Advocating for Health Justice on Martin Luther King Day 2024

Martin Luther King statue - on this day, reflecting on the health and well-being of communities

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2024) As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—an inspiration for taking on the challenges of justice, equity, and safety as a central part of all our work for a sustainable future—through a day that stands for equality, justice, and the pursuit of a better world, it is crucial to reflect on issues that impact the health and well-being of communities. One such issue that echoes the spirit of Dr. King’s vision is the pervasive use of pesticides and the associated health risks. Drawing insights from prior articles on Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News, we delve into the intersection of environmental justice, public health, and the ongoing struggle for a safer and healthier world. 

The Invisible Threat with Visible Consequence: Pesticides and Health. 

Beyond Pesticides sheds light on the hidden dangers of pesticide exposure and the disproportionate impact it has on marginalized communities. Communities of color and economically disadvantaged areas bear a heavier burden of pesticide exposure, leading to higher rates of health issues, including respiratory problems, developmental disorders, and certain cancers.  From agricultural workers to residents of low-income neighborhoods, the adverse health effects of pesticides are not evenly distributed. The use of pesticides without adequate consideration for their health impacts constitutes a form of environmental injustice. This resonates with Dr. King’s vision of equity, as these communities often face the brunt of environmental injustices. Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  

Connecting the Dots: MLK’s Legacy and Environmental Advocacy.  

Dr. King’s legacy extends beyond civil rights, encompassing a vision of justice that encompasses all aspects of life. The Beyond Pesticides article underscores the importance of connecting MLK’s teachings with environmental advocacy. By advocating for alternatives to harmful pesticides and promoting sustainable practices, we honor Dr. King’s call for justice and equality. 

Community-Led Initiatives for Social Justice. 

Community-led initiatives featured on Beyond Pesticides’ blog, where individuals and groups have taken the initiative to address pesticide-related health risks. From local activism to policy advocacy, these stories showcase the power of grassroots movements in effecting positive change, aligning with Dr. King’s belief in the strength of communities to drive transformation. 

Beyond Pesticides works to advance systemic change seeks to identify underlying policies that codify dispropor­tionate harm, such as federal pesticide law that is built on a foundation that allows elevated and disproportionate risk to workers. They are excluded from EPA’s cumulative risk assessment (under the Food Quality Protection Act amendments to the Fed­eral Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act), which aggregates dietary and non-dietary, but explicitly not occupational, exposure to pesticides, while in­cluding a mandate to protect children. With this, the law effectively requires EPA to allow higher rates of harm for workers, particularly farmworkers, land­scapers (workers who are disproportionately people of color), and others occupationally exposed to pes­ticides. In response, Beyond Pesticides is reimagin­ing legislative proposals that effect a transformation to an organic society that eliminates toxic pesticides, respects the complexity of life and the ecosystems that sustain us, and put an end to institutional biases that codify environmental racism.  

Beyond Pesticides also works with grassroots groups, like The Black Institute and other grassroots organizations, across the nation to ban toxic pesticides in city, town, and county parks, playgrounds, and playing fields, as part of an organic transition. Children and people of color face disproportionate harm from pesticide exposure. To make matters worse, the hazards associated with the toxic chemicals inflict multi-generational diseases like diabetes, asthma and respiratory illness, and learning disabilities. 

Educating: A Cornerstone of Change.  

Here are some of the pieces covered by Beyond Pesticides over the last year that paint a stark picture of disproportionate harm to people of color, translating to a pattern of injustice that must be corrected in the adoption of a transformative path forward. 

—A study published on April 18 finds that people in U.S. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities, as well as those living in low-income communities, endure a very disproportionate rate of exposure to pesticides, and of subsequent risks of harm. It finds that such disparities exist in both urban and rural communities, and at all points in the pesticide “life cycle,” from manufacture to application. A section of Beyond Pesticides’ recent mega-issue of Pesticides and You, “Retrospective 2021: A Call to Urgent Action,” is devoted to such inequities. Section IV, “Disproportionate Pesticide Harm Is Racial Injustice: Documenting Victimization: Structural Racism,” reprises Beyond Pesticides’ 2021 coverage of environmental injustices. It also calls for urgent action re: federal and state “evaluations that go into toxic chemical regulation . . . to reform and replace the current regulatory decision-making process, which is empirically racist, with one that acknowledges and cares for those with the highest real-world vulnerabilities and exposure[s].” [See Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Community at Disproportionate Risk from Pesticides, Study Finds] 

On Juneteenth Day, we commemorate the abolition of slavery and celebrate human freedom. At the same time, we recognize that we have significant work to do to eliminate systemic racism and advance environmental justice. We strive to ensure that people of color are not disproportionately harmed by pesticides and other toxic chemicals—from production, use, to disposal—and that all people have access to sustainable and organic food and organically managed communities. Acute and chronic exposure to chemicals like pesticides cause a plethora of harmful effects, including (but not limited to) brain and nervous system disorders, birth abnormalities, cancer, developmental and learning disorders, endocrine disruption, immune disorder, and reproductive dysfunction, among others. However, people of color may experience more severe health effects from exposure, resulting in elevated rates of diseases. Communities of color and those living in low-socioeconomic conditions experience an inequitable number of hazards, including toxic waste plants, garbage dumps, and other sources of environmental pollution and odors that lower the quality of life. Therefore, these populations experience greater exposure to harmful chemicals and suffer from health outcomes that affect their ability to work and learn. When discussing health disparities and environmental justice, we need to focus on those most impacted by toxic chemical use. [See This Juneteenth, We Celebrate Those Who Made this Country] 

Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News serves as a valuable resource for educating individuals and communities about the risks associated with pesticides and the viability of organic practices that eliminate petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers. By empowering people with knowledge, we can foster a collective commitment to healthier alternatives and advocate for policies that prioritize both human health and environmental sustainability. 

As we reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it is crucial to recognize the interconnectedness of social justice, environmental advocacy, and public health. Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News provides a platform for understanding and addressing the health risks posed by pesticides, aligning with Dr. King’s vision of a just and equitable world. Let us draw inspiration from his teachings to work toward a future where everyone, regardless of their background, can enjoy the benefits of a healthy and sustainable environment. 

Beyond Pesticides continues to emphasize its commitment to advancing systemic change that can address the depth and extent of the institutional biases that allow environmental racism to continue, as well as the complexity of the “moving parts” of the food, health, environmental, and governance sectors that allow the persistence of disproportionate impacts. For example, campaigns to eliminate individual pesticides (or other chemicals) are insufficient to the gravity and extent of the threats; a precautionary approach and standards are needed to meet and remedy ongoing and escalating threats. 

We at Beyond Pesticides are looking forward to working with people and organizations in communities nationwide to tackle what often seems like insurmountable problems, but problems that have real solutions that are within our reach, when we tap into the power of working together. Please join, reach out, act locally and regionally, and — in honor of Dr. King — help build a healthy and thriving “network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny” for all people. 

Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Sign up for Beyond Pesticides Action of the Week and Weekly News Update to stay informed on these issues and take action. 

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (598)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (39)
    • Antimicrobial (17)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (33)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (37)
    • Birds (25)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (3)
    • Children (108)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (84)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (16)
    • contamination (150)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (12)
    • Drinking Water (14)
    • Ecosystem Services (12)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (162)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (502)
    • Events (88)
    • Farm Bill (18)
    • Farmworkers (190)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (24)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (13)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (33)
    • Holidays (37)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (5)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (70)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (245)
    • Litigation (340)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (1)
    • metabolic syndrome (2)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (20)
    • Microbiome (26)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (9)
    • Office of Inspector General (2)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (160)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (8)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (6)
    • Pesticide Regulation (771)
    • Pesticide Residues (180)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Plastic (6)
    • Poisoning (18)
    • Preemption (41)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (117)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (14)
    • Superfund (3)
    • synergistic effects (18)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (583)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (454)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (34)
    • World Health Organization (10)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts