Many agricultural pesticides are toxic and drift significant distances from the crop on which they are sprayed – but people living in the area can’t try to protect themselves by staying indoors or closing the windows because they don’t know when the pesticides are being sprayed!
This is a health risk for neighboring farmers, farmworkers, and everyone living in agricultural communities. Chronic exposure to pesticides causes a host of severe health impacts, including cancer, asthma, and developmental and reproductive harms.
Families at home, adults at work, and communities growing our food have the right to know what’s being sprayed near them. Parents and caregivers need to be able to protect children, who are even more vulnerable to the health impacts of these chemicals.
The good news is that this year, thanks to the work of farmworker and community advocates, the California legislature allocated funding for the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to develop a statewide Pesticide Advance Notification System.
But Big Ag is trying to delay the system and make it as ineffective as possible. Funding runs out in 2024, so the agency needs to get started now and implement a robust, effective notification system!
DPR is holding two online webinars on Nov 2nd & 3rd to hear public input about how the Pesticide Notification System should be designed.
- Nov 2nd 9-11:30am (English with Spanish translation) LOGIN: https://csus.zoom.us/j/87004541060
- Nov 3rd 5:30-8pm (Spanish with English translation) LOGIN: https://csus.zoom.us/j/84628170866
- Spread the word to your friends, family, and networks!
- Speak at one of the DPR webinars on Tuesday or Wednesday. Plan to be on the zoom until you have given your comments.
State your name, your role (parent, community member, teacher, health provider, relative or friend of someone who lives in a frontline community, someone who suffers from asthma or other illness).
Keep your comments short and focused. Don’t try to cover every aspect of this issue! Look at the talking points below and pick the 2 or 3 that are most important and relevant to you. Use your personal situation to briefly explain why the agency should take these actions.
- If you can’t speak at one of the webinars, you can email your comments to ProjectNotify@cdpr.ca.gov before 5pm on Nov 3 rd.
- Encourage the DPR to establish a fully transparent public web-based system available to all. The system should not require personal information (name, address, or workplace) to sign in. Workers and community members need to be protected from harassment.
- Notice should be 72 hours in advance so that people can plan what action(s) to take to protect themselves during the spraying.
- Notice by robo calls or text messages are “add ons” and are not sufficient notice.
- Door hangers and flyers are also insufficient for advance notification – their reach is limited, and unless they are taken down after each spray, they will be confusing and ineffective.
- It must be a public notification system that anyone to access. Transparency is important so people who may not live in the vicinity can alert their friends and families. Hospitals and clinics need to know what people are being exposed to when they arrive for acute treatment. Families, schools, childcare centers, and coaches all have a role in protecting kids from being sprayed.
- County Ag Commissioners should begin posting notices NOW. No law is preventing them from taking the information farmers are already required to provide them in advance of pesticide applications and posting it on county websites.
- All pesticides should be included, not just restricted ones, because their effects can be cumulative over the long-term.
- The DPR should start immediate implementation with a basic notification system, with the plan to improve it in the coming year. Families should not continue to be exposed without their knowledge.
- Notifications should be in multiple languages including Spanish, Mixteco, Zapoteco and Triqui.
- Notifications should include maps and links to safety information.
- The DPR should establish community-led work groups to help develop the system, but without delaying the initial steps.
DPR has information posted at https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pressrls/2021/102721.htm
Pesticide Action Network of North America has information on the general issue of pesticide spraying and lack of notice at: https://www.panna.org/take-action/california-communities-need-pesticide-spray-notification🖨️ Print post