They worked with pesticides and couldn't have children: the Lathrop case


By CAPosts 02 December, 2020 - 02:10pm 49 views

In the summer of 1977, workers at the Occidental Chemical plant in Lathrop, California, realized they were sterile . For a long time they began to question why none of them had managed to have children .

© Provided by Milenio Protests over the use of pesticides occur all over the world. Nicaraguan peasants take a break after the march against the pesticide Nema

A study revealed that they had deficient sperm , some of them did not produce them. The cause: they were exposed to DBCP, a pesticide commonly used in the United States since the 1950s

The issue of workers became known nationally and people began to question how many times they were exposed to the same pesticide , as it was very popular in agriculture.

DBCP (or dibromochloropropane) was introduced to the United States in the mid-1950s. It was widely used against worms on pineapples, bananas, and other tropical fruits. It was so effective that it became a commercial success, although the victory was costly.

Concerns increased when the pesticide was found in edible crops and two years later, in 1979, it was found in well water. The possibility that the DBCP contaminated the food of thousands of people in the San Joaquin Valley generated much criticism from environmental groups and civil society.

According to the Environmental Justice Atlas , the effects of DBCP have been known since 1960 on sperm. In studies with laboratory animals, it was shown to decrease the mobility of these reproductive cells and induce malignant tumors . The pesticide was also found to cause DNA mutations.

In 1979, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limited its use in the agricultural industry . But DBCP continued to be sprayed in Latin America, the Philippines, and some African countries.

By the 1990s, various lawsuits arose from plantation workers and communities whose water was contaminated with DBCP . However, justice has not been served outside the United States, despite the fact that the facts are well documented.

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency lists DBCP as probable carcinogenic to humans, based on some evidence that it may cause cancer , but no conclusive results to date

Source: MSN