Cannabis Farmworkers' Safety and HealthCannabis in California
Cannabis is the highest valued- albeit covert- agricultural product in California, with an estimated annual $23.3 billion in cash farm receipts. Approximately 13.3 million pounds of cannabis were produced in California in 2016. Between 165,000 and 230,000 farmers and farmworkers are estimated to be employed in California’s cannabis industry.
Agricultural workers face numerous airborne threats every day. Air pollutant emissions, soil fumigants, pesticides, mold, asbestos, and dust are a few of the potential lung health hazards that an agricultural worker can come into contact through work.
Wildfire smoke filled the air across much of the West this summer. That was certainly the case in Davis where researchers are studying the potential health risks of wildfire smoke. This risk may be magnified due to pesticide application across California’s vast agricultural land and the use of fire retardants to fight fires.
Climate change is presenting major occupational challenges, especially to those who work outside in extreme weather. Just think of the emergency personnel bravely responding to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, not to mention those who work outside regularly, such as landscapers and farmworkers.