Proposed changes to U.S. agricultural child labor laws are open for comment by the U.S. Department of Labor. Comments are being taken on a reinterpretation of the parental exemption.

Michael Hancock with the labor department says the changes identify areas in agriculture where children should not be employed such as operating certain heavy equipment or handling pesticides.

"It shouldn't unduly interfere with their ability to get their crop in, but at the same time will protect children working in this industry. For most farmers who take an objective look at what we're proposing they won't be troubled by this"

A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report says working in the farm-agricultural industry is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 17.

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