Pesticide Drift

When pesticides are sprayed they can drift and settle on playgrounds, porches, laundry, toys, pools, furniture and more. Some of the most toxic pesticides in use in the U.S. today are also the most drift prone, and yet this common route of exposure remains largely invisible.

PAN invented the Drift Catcher to address a void in the science around pesticide exposure: previously, farmworker and rural communities could describe being subject to pesticide drift and the illnesses that followed, but they had little proof. The Drift Catcher is a simple, inexpensive and scientifically robust device that collects air samples which can then be analyzed for pesticides. It enables farmworkers and community members to document and draw attention to otherwise invisible chemical exposures. The Drift Catcher can detect several kinds of pesticides that are commonly in use. For a list of pesticides the Drift Catcher can detect, please click here.

Drift Catching takes people, time, and money

  • While the Drift Catcher is simple to use, there is a time investment involved with taking samples and running the study, so it is best to have a group of people from your community working together. Groups participating in Drift Catching studies must attend a training so that they can be certified in using the Drift Catcher. People in the group must also be available to participate in taking samples when the opportunity arises.
  • PAN partners with community groups to do driftcatching. PAN selects these groups based on our current campaign goals. Sample analysis costs are high, typically ranging from $190-$280 per sample. PAN may be able to help you find funding, or provide some support. If you need advice on alternative ways to detect drift, please click here. You can also contact us.
  • PAN often works with communities in the Midwest and California, but has partnered with groups from other areas in the past. Examples of previous Drift Catching projects include:
    • Sisquoc, CA
    • Tehama, CA
    • Communities in Minnesota
    • Communities in Iowa
    • Communities in Illinois
    • Hastings, FL
    • Hawai'i SEED
    • Philippines