Agromedicine Institute To Educate Farmers on Risk Mitigation
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The NC Agromedicine Institute at East Carolina University was chosen as the recipient of an $184,542 grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Monies awarded to the Institute will fund its Risk Mitigation Measures (RMMs) project that began in May.
The RMMs project aims to educate farmers across the state of North Carolina about new measures and requirements for use of soil fumigants. The new requirements are the result of fumigant re-registration eligibility decisions (REDs) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The measures are designed to address risks associated with fumigants and protect applicators, handlers, workers and bystanders from the potential risks of exposure to soil fumigants.
Fumigant usage has seen numerous restrictions in the past; however, the REDs introduce new and different restrictions, respirator use being one of several. Under new requirements beginning in 2010, at least two individuals per farm working with fumigants must have respiratory protection, be determined as physically fit to use a respirator, be fit tested to ensure the respirator provides its intended level of protection and be trained how to use a respirator.
Farms will also be required to have a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) on hand in case of a fumigant emergency and all individuals working in fumigant application areas must be trained on safety. However, new requirements are difficult to understand and farmers have limited knowledge as to where or how to obtain a respirator, medical clearance, fit testing and training for themselves or their workers. Complying with RMMs requires skills that farm operators or fumigant applicators and handlers may not have. Also the time and effort necessary to obtain the skills and knowledge is significant without assistance.
The goal of the NC Agromedicine project is to assist more than 1,300 farms across the state in implementing RMMs. Strategies to accomplish the goal include 25 interactive workshops across the state between May 2010 and April 2012.
For additional informaiton, contact Robin Tutor at 252-744-1045 or email@example.com.