Local Pesticide Concerns
VIP partnered with Environmental Work Group (EWG) to study pesticide use in Stanislaus County. The findings are based on data from the pesticide use reports submitted to the county and the state for the year 2021.
As highlighted in a new analysis developed by VIP and Environmental Working Group, Telone has been linked to cancer – and regulators in California and at the federal Environmental Protection Agency have known for many years about the hazards of applying it. Telone, also known as 1,3-dichloropropene or 1,3-D, was banned in California from 1990 to 1995. Agricultural use of 1,3-D is not allowed in the European Union because of its health risks.
The new analysis, relying on data obtained from 2021 pesticide use records from the Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, reveals that more than 6 million pounds of agricultural pesticides were applied in the county in 2021, and over twenty percent – at least 1.3 million pounds – was Telone.
“Too many Stanislaus County residents face a possible increased risk of cancer from the spraying of Telone and other toxic pesticides,” said co-author Bianca Lopez, VIP co-founder, and project director. She said the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) proposed Telone regulations are inadequate because they fall short of Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) standards.
Stanislaus County has some of the heaviest pesticide use in California. Almost half of county residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.
“The DPR must redesign their current proposal to protect to the OEHHA No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) and add farmworker protections which prohibit farmworkers from being required to work next to fields recently treated with 1,3-D,” Lopez said.
“We can’t wait for the state to mandate better protections and need local government to exercise their power to protect children and expand the buffer zones near schools, and publicize on their website all Notices of Intent (NOIs) for proposed Telone applications that include location, date, and time and implement setbacks to protect farmworkers,” she added.
“We are seeking parent participation and will be reaching out to the District Superintendents, and school Principals to help us reach parents of those schools in townships with high Telone use and high pesticide use overall,” said Lopez.
Here is what we want to see change:
We are asking the Stanislaus Agriculture Commissioner to take immediate action to better protect our children, farm workers and neighbors from exposure to high pesticide use in the following ways:
1: Expand the school buffer zones to 5 mi. radius. (Currently, the law enforces a 1/4 mi protection buffer zone)
2: Require farmers to get school principals to sign off on NOI near their schools, to ensure children are not on campus at the actual application time.
3: Reduce the use of Telone applications across the county.
4: Expand the current Pesticide Notification Pilot program to the entire county and web post all Notices of Intent for all restricted material, that includes time, date, and location.
5: Include protections for farm workers that work near fumigant applications