Many United States children are currently exposed to exploitive and hazardous jobs in the agriculture business. They’re children that are likely to injure or kill themselves by working long hours, handling dangerous pesticides and operating dangerous farm machinery. The United States has restrictions in place for children to have hazardous jobs, but in agriculture, there’re many exemptions to these restrictions. With agriculture these exemptions shouldn’t be allowed. In the end the exploitation, injury and death of a child is the same no matter what business it’s in.
The Federal Government has the department of United States Department of Labor (DOL) and many states have similar departments, designed in part to protect workers. The DOL has long been responsible for imposing restrictions on employers from hiring young children for employment and also for hiring children to have hazardous jobs. According to the DOL, in all other jobs besides agriculture, a child cannot have a hazardous job before the age of eighteen. In agriculture, those same restrictions lift at the age of sixteen and do not apply to children who work on farms owned or operated by their parents. Federal Law requires children to be a minimum age of fourteen for paying jobs. Agriculture exemptions also allow children, with parents’ consent, to be hired on any farm at the age of twelve, and for small farms, there’s no minimum age for children (1).
Agriculture is a dangerous business and people should care more about these exemptions. As quoted in journal Pediatrics, the injuries in the agriculture business result in a hospitalization rate ten times higher than all other industries (2). According the Humans Right Watch, the agriculture business is the most dangerous business open to children. In 2010, three quarters of the working children who died from work related injuries were in the agriculture business and thousands more injured (2). The injuries children suffer from in the agriculture business are not comparable to regular youth injuries; the injuries children suffer from are severe and can be life altering. As with the other industries in The United States, the children in the agriculture business should be protected.
The exemptions for hazardous jobs in the agriculture business should not be in place because children are being exposed to dangerous pesticides and chemicals and they need to be protected. With the current agriculture exemptions, children who work on small farms can handle any harmful chemical starting from birth. According to the Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues, “Children, as growing beings, naturally absorb more from the environment that adults” (1328). There is research that indicates that children cancer rates are linked to chemicals and a cause for an alarm (1328). Many children’s parents are in the agriculture business, or children of immigrant workers that allow children to be exposed daily to these dangerous chemicals protection...