Tobacco farms facing new guidelines to protect workers

Tobacco farmers would be better protected from nicotine poisoning under new guidelines from the Obama administration.

The Department of Labor is looking to prevent tobacco workers from contracting what's known as "green tobacco sickness."

Tobacco farmers are at risk of developing this form of nicotine poisoning as they plant, cultivate and harvest tobacco products, the agency noted. Symptoms include dehydration, dizziness, headaches and vomiting.

The new guidelines will provide tobacco farms with a set of recommended practices for limiting workers' exposure to nicotine. The agency noted that children and older adults face the greatest risk of contracting this condition. 

“The best way to protect people from on-the-job hazards is to prevent those hazards in the first place, and this bulletin outlines commonsense steps to reduce nicotine exposure and prevent heat illness,” Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said in a statement. “It’s important that we continue to work with a wide array of stakeholders in order to find solutions that protect all workers.”