Peruvian-American handicraft designer Jurgen Wohl is among dozens of people killed by a pesticide sprayed at a manufacturing plant in the northern state of Jalisco, authorities said on Monday.
Wohl was working at a factory in the town of Tachuco in Jalisco’s Guayana state when the toxic chemical was sprayed on April 13, said Ricardo Sanchez, a spokesman for Jalisco state governor Miguel Díaz Peralta.
The pesticide is known as dicamba, which was developed by Monsanto Co and the US-based Dow Chemical Co. Wohl’s employer, a company called Lava Technology in Corona, California, said it has since stopped working with the company.
Wohls family declined to comment.
He was working on a $4,500, $8,500 ($14,000-$17,000) sculpture for a company that is known for producing such items as toys and clothes.
A spokesman for Lava Technologies did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The incident was the latest in a spate of deadly incidents in Mexico and the Americas that have stoked public anger at the world’s biggest agricultural and agribusiness companies.
Mexico’s health minister has blamed pesticide use on companies that use pesticides on farms and fields that are in poor health.
In March, the country’s environmental protection agency warned farmers to use less chemicals on their crops, after the death of a 15-year-old girl who died after spraying pesticide in a field.
The US government said in January that it had banned the use of some pesticides in the US and Canada due to their use on crops that have been in poor nutritional condition.
The use of pesticides has been linked to a spike in childhood asthma, a decline in the quality of human milk, and a rise in antibiotic resistance.