Over 100 million children around the world work in hazardous conditions in agriculture, mining, domestic labor, and other sectors. On tobacco farms, children work long hours in extreme heat, exposed to nicotine and toxic pesticides that can make them sick. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, child laborers in artisanal and small-scale gold mines work underground in pits that easily collapse and use toxic mercury to process the gold, risking brain damage and other serious health conditions.
In the United States, the government and tobacco companies are failing to protect teenage children from dangerous work in tobacco farming. 16- and 17-year-olds discussed symptoms consistent with acute nicotine poisoning – nausea, vomiting, headaches, or dizziness – while working on tobacco farms.