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Protecting Workers


Protecting workers from potential effects of pesticides is an important role of EPA's Pesticide Program. Workers in several occupations may be exposed to pesticides when they:

This Web page introduces the subsequent topics that describe tools and information EPA uses to reduce the potential risk to workers from pesticides.

Risk Assessment

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Risk Management

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Worker Safety Program

Outside the risk assessment process, EPA implements other programs to protect workers. The worker safety program consists of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, the applicator certification regulation, a health care initiative, a handbook on the Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings, and other activities and materials intended to protect people during the occupational use of pesticides.

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Related Information

Every pesticide licensed and introduced into the market before 1984 has been reevaluated, resulting in a Reregistration Eligibility Decision known as a RED. The goal of the reregistration program was to mitigate risks associated with the use of older pesticides while preserving their benefits. In many cases, EPA made significant changes to increase protection for workers as part of the reregistration process.

More recently, EPA began the required reevaluation of all existing pesticides, under the registration review program. Changes in science, public policy, and pesticide use practices will occur over time. Through the registration review program, the Agency periodically reevaluates pesticides to make sure that as change occurs, products in the marketplace can still be used safely. The registration review program challenges EPA to continuously improve its processes, science, and information management while maintaining a collaborative and open process for decision-making.

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