The UN Special Rapporteur for toxics, Baskut Tuncak, authored an important new report concerning the human rights of workers exposed to toxic substances and will present it at the upcoming 39th session of the Human Rights Council. The report is relevant to formal and informal workers dealing with pesticides and industrial chemicals of all kinds.
Where did the slick smartphone you got for the holidays come from? You might imagine a remote futuristic industrial park, with robotic assembly lines whirring in ultra-efficient silence. But the workers assembling your phone are actually real people, and the conditions in which they work are far from humane.
There is the kind of lead poisoning that creeps into water supplies, builds up in children’s blood streams, and, if sustained, will impair their brains. And then there is the kind, much rarer, that makes fully grown adults drop dead.