What to Do About Pesticide Drift (Video)


| 4/1/2015 10:59:00 AM


Tags: pesticide drift, gardening, Emily Marquez, Pesticide Action Network,

 

I’m trying to garden organically, but I’m concerned about pesticide drift. How can I tell whether drift is affecting my property, and what can I do about it?

Pesticides do indeed “drift” and damage plants growing in neighboring areas. If the drifting chemical is an herbicide, then you may notice damage to plants. Loss of
foliage, yellowing vegetation at the wrong time of year, or damage occurring only on certain portions of plant leaves may indicate herbicide drift. Other symptoms of injury may include twisted leaves or downward-cupped leaves. However, drift from other types of pesticides may be difficult to detect. In some states, the department of agriculture will test crops for drift damage. Laboratory analysis can be costly, and it will not reveal who’s responsible for the drift.

Pesticide drift also poses a threat to human health. Symptoms of acute exposure range from headaches to difficulty breathing to skin irritation. Exposure to some pesticides is also associated with long-term negative effects.

If you know you’ve been exposed to pesticide drift and are concerned about your health, you may want to seek medical advice. Document the problem, if possible. Then, file a report with both the National Pesticide Information Center and the lead pesticide or public health agency in your state, and press for an immediate investigation, including sampling for residues.

Pesticide drift is illegal in most states, but proving who broke the law can be difficult. To inquire about what pesticide was sprayed — and by whom — contact your state pesticide regulatory agency. Join or start a community group (formal or informal) to address pesticide drift. (Get started by networking with people in your area on the MOTHER EARTH NEWS state-specific Facebook pages — MOTHER EARTH NEWS)




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