United Farm Workers

 

Tell CA Department of Pesticide Regulation to do better for CA kids

Children need full-time protection from pesticides. Proposed rules on ag chemicals fall short.

Last week, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) finally released a draft plan for protecting schoolchildren from drift-prone, health-harming pesticides. The proposal falls far short of what California kids need and deserve. Tell DPR they can — and must — do much better.

Over 140 agricultural pesticides of public health concern are used near California schools, daycares and preschools. These aren’t our numbers; this is hard data from the Department of Public Health. Health officials report that Latino children are more likely to attend schools near use of the most hazardous pesticides. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren across the state are in harm’s way.

Science clearly shows that pesticides can and do drift far from fields where they’re applied — well beyond the ¼ mile buffers DPR has proposed. Research also makes clear that chronic, low level childhood exposures can cause health harms that last a lifetime, including cancer and damage to children’s developing brains. That’s why we’re calling for 24/7, 1-mile buffer zones for the most hazardous chemicals.

DPR’s smaller buffers and part-time protections (just during school hours) ignore the facts: many pesticides keep drifting for days after application. They ignore that kids use school grounds and baseball fields in the evening, on weekends and all summer long. This is simply unacceptable. Urge DPR to put no-spray buffer zones in place that will actually protect rural children.

We have six weeks to collect as many signatures as possible before the public comment period closes November 17. Please sign our petition today and we’ll deliver your signature and additional comments to DPR’s Director, Brian Leahy.