By Anthony Gucciardi
Scientists have found that the ubiquitous presence of chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) could soon lead to half of all newborn babies being born with at least one birth defect. POPs include different pesticides, industrial chemicals, and compounds released from burning fossil fuels. A new study links these chemicals to neural tube defects, the first of its kind to examine the effects of such environmental factors on fetal development.
By Barry Estabrook
The ‘Immokalee babies’ were born with severe deformities after their mothers were each exposed to pesticides whilst harvesting tomatoes. Barry Estabrook reports on the case that shocked the US.
Tower Cabins is a labour camp consisting of about thirty drab wooden shacks and a few deteriorating trailers crammed together behind an unpainted wooden fence just south of Immokalee, a city in the heart of southwest Florida’s tomato-growing region.
The community of poor migrant labourers is dreary at the best of times, but just before Christmas a few years ago, there were reasons for joy. Three women, all neighbours, were expecting children within seven weeks of each other. But in the lives of tomato workers, there is a fine line between hope and tragedy.
Posted in Environment, EPA, pollution
Tagged Andrew Yaffa, barry estabrook, birth defects, florida, Immokalee, migrant workers, pesticides, slave labor, tomatoland