Article of Interest: People of Color More Likely to be Harmed by Pesticides

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

People of Color More Likely to be Harmed by Pesticides” from The Guardian.

Roughly 90% of pesticide use in the US is in agriculture, making farmworkers – 83% of whom identify as Hispanic – more vulnerable to the synthetic chemicals intended to kill, repel or control pests.
“These workers somehow are seen as expendable,” said Robert Bullard, a co-author of the report and the director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University. “This study shows the systemic neglect that [led to] a whole workforce being an underclass and not given the same weight when it comes to health and safety.”

This is important because pesticide exposures are frequently reported initiators of toxicant-induced loss of tolerance (TILT), said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!