Protect Farmworkers From Extreme Heat And Climate Change

6,640 signatures toward our 50,000 Goal

13.28% Complete

Sponsor: The Hunger Site

Millions of farmworkers are being worked to death in extreme heat to support their families. Demand greater protection for them!


Decades of research have confirmed that climate impacts on food and agriculture are adversely affecting our health: Rising CO2 levels lead to less nutritious crops; increased incidence of diseases and pests which lead some farmers to use more toxic on-farm chemicals; and rising temperatures prompting an increase in waterborne bacteria, making it harder to keep irrigated crops safe1.

Between 2 and 3 million farmworkers in the U.S. face an even greater risk by working outside all day to harvest those crops, with subpar living arrangements to sleep in at night.

Between now and 2065, climate change is expected to quadruple US outdoor workers' exposure to hazardous heat conditions, jeopardizing their health and placing up to $55.4 billion of their earnings at risk annually. The average outdoor worker risks losing from $1,700 to $7,000 in annual earnings due to lost work days from extreme heat2.

Heat is the nation's leading cause of weather-related deaths, and heat waves are becoming more intense and more frequent as the planet warms3.

Exposure to wildfire smoke is also growing threat to farmworkers, many of whom are forced to toil through fires that are not just more frequent and severe but more toxic than ever. And as each year brings bigger and more destructive fires, scientists are scrambling to identify all the chemicals in smoke and the risks they pose4

Farmworkers are directly impacted by the smoke and falling ash from fires, added to that the stress of lost income and working near a raging fire and the negative impact is amplified.

The Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act is named in honor of Asunción Valdivia who died in 2004 after picking grapes for ten hours straight in 105-degree temperatures5.

Valdivia fell unconscious and instead of calling an ambulance, his employer told Valdivia's son to drive his father home. On his way home, he died of heat stroke at the age of 53. Valdivia's death was completely preventable, yet his story is not unique.

"I will never forget Asuncion Valdivia or how his tragic death could have been avoided," said Rep. Judy Chu, one of the sponsors of the bill6. "Whether on a farm, driving a truck, or working in a warehouse, workers like Asuncion keep our country running while enduring some of the most difficult conditions, often without access to water or rest."

Sign the petition below and demand the U.S. government protect outdoor laborers against rising temperatures by passing the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act.

More on this issue:

  1. Lela Nargi, The Counter (30 March 2021), "Climate change has direct negative impacts on farmworker health."
  2. Kristina Dahl, Rachel Licker, Union of Concerned Scientists (17 August 2021), "Too Hot to Work: Assessing the Threats Climate Change Poses to Outdoor Workers."
  3. Liza Gross, Inside Climate News (20 September 2021), "Biden Administration Unveils Plan to Protect Workers and Communities from Extreme Heat."
  4. Kristina Dahl, Rachel Licker, Union of Concerned Scientists (17 August 2021), "Too Hot to Work: Assessing the Threats Climate Change Poses to Outdoor Workers."
  5. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Alex Padilla, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Rep. Bobby Scott, and Rep. Alma Adams"Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act."
  6. Education and Labor Committee (26 March 2021), "House, Senate Democrats Introduce Heat Stress Legislation to Protect Farm Workers."
To Top

The Petition:

Dear Congressperson,

Heat is the nation's leading cause of weather-related deaths, and heat waves are becoming more intense and more frequent as the planet warms. This issue threatens the health and wellbeing of America's farmworkers moreseo than any other demographic.

Between 2 and 3 million farmworkers in the U.S. work outside all day to support their families, harvesting the food the rest of the country needs to eat, with subpar living arrangements to sleep in at night.

Exposure to wildfire smoke is also growing threat to farmworkers, many of whom are forced to toil through fires that are not just more frequent and severe but more toxic than ever. And as each year brings bigger and more destructive fires, scientists are scrambling to identify all the chemicals in smoke and the risks they pose.

This is why I support the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, named in honor of Asunción Valdivia, who died in 2004 after picking grapes for ten hours straight in 105-degree temperatures. Workers like Asuncion keep our country running while enduring some of the most difficult conditions, often without access to water or rest.

Thank you for taking a stand for America's farmworkers and making the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act a law.

Sincerely,

To Top

Signatures: