Links to Op-ed pieces by SASS members
According to the National Agricultural Worker Survey, farmworkers have a life expectancy of merely 49 years, compared to 78.8 years in the U.S. general population, and upward of 80 years among Latinos in the U.S. in general. fumigant pesticides are applied in chemical mixtures. Exposure to fumigant pesticides and fumigant chemical mixtures increases the possibility of DNA mutations, reducing the body’s ability to repair itself. This is especially a great concern for farmworkers, as they face a number of occupational, socioeconomic and environmental health disparities.
One-mile buffer zones are needed not only to prevent acute incidents, but also to prevent long-term health impacts of sub-chronic and chronic exposure to hazardous pesticides, impacts such as cancer, developmental delays, asthma and behavioral disorders including ADHD and autism. A one-mile buffer would likely cut down substantially on the number and risk of such drift hazards.
There is plenty of scientific evidence that adults and children of the Pajaro Valley are being exposed to concentrations of damaging pesticides at dangerous levels. evidence that our schoolchildren are not adequately protected from health-harming pesticides at school we are talking about exposure for children while at school, and developing bodies are more susceptible to damage from the hazards of pesticides.
Scientific evidence from UC Berkeley and UC Davis documents increased risk of adverse health impacts in close proximity to pesticide applications, particularly for young children. Pesticides drift from where they are applied and can travel hundreds of feet or for miles in California. California regulators have failed to respond to the growing body of science linking impacts of pesticides on the brains and bodies of children, and to impose protections for this vulnerable population.
Scientific studies of the hazards of pesticide “drift” and illness in children and farm workers has been documented for more than 20 years specific to Monterey County (Google CHAMACOS, CEHPT, UC Davis Public Health, etc.) A ruling by the Office of Civil Rights regarding pesticide fumigants and exposure was issued in 2013.
The Department of Public Health (DPH)’s Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools in California report shows that Monterey County schoolchildren are the most likely of all schoolchildren in the state to attend schools within 1/4-mile of the heaviest use of highly hazardous pesticide — those capable of causing cancer, reproductive and developmental harm and damage to the nervous system. Francisco Rodriguez discusses studies that were not mentioned in the DPH’s study such as measure of exposure and prediction of health risks of pesticides applied near schools.
A new round of air sampling data released by state officials shows that hazardous pesticides continue to be found in the air of the state’s agricultural regions, including at cancer-risk levels in Salinas and Watsonville. A concern from these Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) reports is that the concentrations of highly toxic pesticides are increasing in both Watsonville and Salinas.