How Dangerous Is Pesticide Drift?


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❝ If you live near a big farm or an otherwise frequently manicured landscape, “pesticide drift”—drifting spray and dust from pesticide applications — could be an issue for you and yours. Indeed, pesticide drift is an insidious threat to human health as well as to wildlife and ecosystems in and around agricultural and even residential areas where harsh chemicals are used to ward off pests. The biggest risk from pesticide drift is to those living, working or attending school near larger farms which employ elevated spraying equipment or crop duster planes to apply chemicals to crops and fields. Children are especially vulnerable to these airborne pesticides, given that their young bodies are still growing and developing…

❝ Thanks in large part to advocacy by Pesticide Action Network and other groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made strides in protecting more of us against pesticide drift. In late 2009 the agency rolled out new guidelines directing pesticide manufacturers to include labeling on their products indicating how to minimize off-target spray and dust drift. Any spray pesticides manufactured or labeled as of January 2012 and for sale in the U.S. must display the warning on its label: “Do not apply this product in a manner that results in spray (or dust) drift that harms people or any other non-target organisms or sites.”…

Even though spray pesticides are now labeled and 28 states have drift spray regulations on their books, pesticide drift continues to be a problem wherever crops are grown. If pesticide drift is an issue where you live, work, study or play, contact PAN. The group can send out a “Drift Catcher”—a 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,” says PAN.

Please, please – live or work in an area where this is a problem – contact PAN.

One thought on “How Dangerous Is Pesticide Drift?

  1. Rachel C. says:

    “Researchers unravel the negative effects of pesticide exposure on birth outcomes, such as weight, gestation and abnormalities” (University of California – Santa Barbara 8/29/17) https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/uoc–ee082917.php “…Numerous chemicals are used daily in close proximity to residential areas, making it difficult to ascertain a specific responsible agent. As a result, in this study, the researchers looked at the combined results from all pesticides used in the region.
    “We don’t have a good understanding of how different chemicals interact with each other in the environment,” lead author Ashley Larsen said. “Additional work is needed to understand which chemicals or combinations of chemicals are most dangerous to human health.”

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