Earlier this month, Worksafe, Inc., an Oakland-based workers advocacy organization, named Brenda Eskenazi as one of its 2019 Worker Health & Safety Heroes. This award recognizes community leaders at the forefront of workplace justice in California.
As director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH), Eskenazi has contributed extensively to the understanding of pesticide exposure in farmworker communities in California. In 1999, she launched the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) Study, a cohort study in the nation’s “Salad Bowl” meant to characterize the effects of pesticides and other chemicals on child neurodevelopment, asthma, and other potential health outcomes. Much of this research has influenced policies to help reduce environmental exposures for farmworkers and their families.
In addition to her work at CERCH, Eskenazi is also a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Science Council for the National Institutes of Health, as well as a member of the scientific advisory boards of Healthy Children, Healthy World and the Children’s Environmental Health Coalition.
The award from Worksafe honors Eskenazi’s leadership and tremendous contribution to workplace health and justice. She was presented the award at Worksafe’s 37th anniversary celebration in Berkeley on May 16.