Labor Secretary Announces Bulletin on Preventing Green Tobacco Sickness

The bulletin includes guidance on reducing the hazards for tobacco workers

According to a news release from the DOL, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has announced the release of a recommended practices bulletin with guidance on reducing the hazards for tobacco workers. Dehydration, dizziness, headaches and vomiting are some of the symptoms of nicotine poisoning, also known as “green tobacco sickness.”

The tobacco industry has recently undertaken voluntary efforts to curtail child labor in tobacco farming and increase protections for young workers. The DOL has collaborated with state agencies, growers, farmers, manufacturers and others to increase education, training and protections for tobacco workers.

"The best way to protect people from on-the-job hazards is to prevent those hazards in the first place, and this bulletin outlines commonsense steps to reduce nicotine exposure and prevent heat illness," said Secretary Perez. "It's important that we continue to work with a wide array of stakeholders in order to find solutions that protect all workers."

The bulletin identifies serious health hazards related to work in tobacco fields, and steps employers can take to protect the health of farm workers. It also identifies vulnerable workers, including children and adolescents, who may be more sensitive to chemical exposure and more likely to suffer from green tobacco sickness, and who may suffer more serious health consequences than adults.

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