The children behind our cotton
Many children in the cotton fields are exposed to what is termed hazardous child labour, which can result in them being killed, injured or made ill as a result of their work (agriculture is one of the three most dangerous sectors in which to work, along with mining and construction). In some regions, children regularly work in the cotton fields during, or following, the spraying season when levels of pesticide residues are high. The effects of pesticide exposure in adults are extensive and often fatal, ranging from temporary loss of sight to respiratory problems. Young bodies are particularly susceptible to chemicals, given that their internal organs are still developing. Many of the health problems resulting from working in the cotton fields may not show up until the child is an adult.