Drift

Teresa DeAnda's picture

PAN is collecting messages for the Big 6 pesticide/biotech corporations that keep the global food system on a toxic treadmill. Here's one from an ally in California's central valley:

I have lived in Earlimart my whole life. I guess my family and neighbors are the poster children of what can go wrong when you grow up around pesticide applications. 

Before they were table grapes, now they are almond trees. Both these crops use very many applications of bad actor pesticides that can cause cancer, reproductive and nervous system damaging illnesses.

Always we just would accept the spray.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Men who live in neighborhoods that experience pesticide drift are 1.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer.

This is what scientists found in a one-of-a-kind study that compares rates of the cancer among men who lived near agricultural fields where methyl bromide, captan or organochlorine insecticides were applied with those who lived farther from drifting pesticides.

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Whether they are sprayed from planes or injected into the soil, pesticides don’t recognize fences or property lines. But pesticide users are, again, being forced to pay property owners for damage caused by airborne drift when they cross those lines.

According to a decision handed down July 26 by a Minnesota court, organic farmers who are victims of this “trespass” are entitled to compensation for pesticide contamination.

Karl Tupper's picture

It seems like a no-brainer: If you happen to live or work or go to school across the street from a field or orchard where pesticides are sprayed, you might think, "Maybe I'm breathing some of these pesticides." Especially when the wind blows from the field towards you. Especially when you can smell the pesticides. And you might also think, "Maybe this isn't good for me." Especially when the guys applying the pesticides are wearing Tyvek spacesuits. Especially if you start feeling ill.

And you'd be right to think these thoughts, even though most growers and pesticide applicators will tell you that you're crazy and have nothing to worry about. For years PAN's been working with concerned communities to show that these exposures are real and need to be taken seriously. And now a new study by scientists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and various states' Departments of Health, corroborates what we've been saying all along.

Karl Tupper's picture

A few weeks ago, California's Department of Pesticide Regulation announced the launch of a new, "first of its kind" air monitoring network designed to look for pesticides drifting into populated areas in the state's fertile agricultural valleys. Weekly samples will be collected over the course of a year in three communities: Shafter, Salinas, and Ripon. Each will be analyzed for 34 pesticides including many neurotoxic insecticides and highly toxic fumigants like methyl iodide. It's an ambitious project, and it's sure to yield a ton of interesting data, yet I just can't get excited about it because: a) PAN's been doing a version of this for years; and b) lack of data isn't the problem at this point.