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Daily News Blog

03
Jan

Hazardous Fumigant in Food Production Harmful to Farmworkers, Groups Call for Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2023) The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced new rules that remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D or Telone), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than state toxicologists in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) say is safe and highlighting the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the state of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would allow farmworkers—whose labor was judged “essential” during the pandemic—to be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices. While the state of California describes its action as increasing protection, advocates point to continued use, unacceptable harm, and the availability of alternative organic agricultural production methods that eliminate the use of 1,3-D. Since over a third of the country’s vegetables and three-quarters of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California, most people who buy their food in a grocery store have a stake in how food is grown in the state and the impact that it has on those who live and work there.

Tell the state of California, U.S. EPA, an the U.S. Congress to cancel the registration of all toxic soil fumigants and encourage organic alternatives.  

1,3-D is a pre-plant soil fumigant registered for use on soils to control nematodes. It is allowed on all crops and is often used with chloropicrin, another highly toxic fumigant, to increase its herbicidal and fungicidal properties. 1,3-D causes cancer. In addition, the National Institutes of Health’s PubChem states, “Occupational exposure is likely to be through inhalation and via the skin. Irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory mucosa appears promptly after exposure. Dermal exposure caused severe skin irritations. Inhalation may result in serious signs and symptoms of poisoning with lower exposures resulting in depression of the central nervous system and irritation of the respiratory system. Some poisoning incidents have occurred in which persons were hospitalized with signs and symptoms of irritation of the mucous membrane, chest discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and, occasionally, loss of consciousness and decreased libido.” Chloropicrin is extremely irritating to lungs, eyes, and skin. Inhalation may lead to pulmonary edema, possibly resulting in death.

These and other soil fumigants not only pose severe health threats to farmworkers and bystanders, but also threaten soil and water ecosystems. In contrast, organic production seeks to build healthy soils that resist plant pathogens, making fumigation unnecessary. Thus, these fumigants pose unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment and should be banned.

Consider the effects that food grown in chemical-intensive agriculture have on workers, communities, and the environment by checking out Eating with a Conscience.

Tell the state of California, U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Congress to cancel the registration of all toxic soil fumigants and encourage organic alternatives.  

Letter to State of California, Department of Pesticide Regulation

Please stop tinkering with a toxic pesticide that should be banned for use. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposal to remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than other state toxicologists say is safe, highlights the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the state would allow farmworkers—whose labor was judged “essential” during the pandemic—to be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices.

1,3-D is a pre-plant soil fumigant registered for use on soils to control nematodes. It is allowed on all crops and is often used with chloropicrin, another highly toxic fumigant, to increase its herbicidal and fungicidal properties. 1,3-D causes cancer. In addition, the National Institutes of Health’s PubChem states, “Occupational exposure is likely to be through inhalation and via the skin. Irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory mucosa appears promptly after exposure. Dermal exposure caused severe skin irritations. Inhalation may result in serious signs and symptoms of poisoning with lower exposures resulting in depression of the central nervous system and irritation of the respiratory system. Some poisoning incidents have occurred in which persons were hospitalized with signs and symptoms of irritation of the mucous membrane, chest discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and, occasionally, loss of consciousness and decreased libido.” Chloropicrin is extremely irritating to lungs, eyes, and skin. Inhalation may lead to pulmonary edema, possibly resulting in death.

These and other soil fumigants not only pose severe health threats to farmworkers and bystanders, but also threaten soil and water ecosystems. In contrast, organic production seeks to build healthy soils that resist plant pathogens, making fumigation unnecessary. Thus, these fumigants pose unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment. Their registrations should be cancelled.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

Letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposal to remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than other state toxicologists say is safe, highlights the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the Environmental Protection Agency would allow farmworkers—whose labor was judged “essential” during the pandemic—to be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices.

1,3-D is a pre-plant soil fumigant registered for use on soils to control nematodes. It is allowed on all crops and is often used with chloropicrin, another highly toxic fumigant, to increase its herbicidal and fungicidal properties. 1,3-D causes cancer. In addition, the National Institutes of Health’s PubChem states, “Occupational exposure is likely to be through inhalation and via the skin. Irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory mucosa appears promptly after exposure. Dermal exposure caused severe skin irritations. Inhalation may result in serious signs and symptoms of poisoning with lower exposures resulting in depression of the central nervous system and irritation of the respiratory system. Some poisoning incidents have occurred in which persons were hospitalized with signs and symptoms of irritation of the mucous membrane, chest discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and, occasionally, loss of consciousness and decreased libido.” Chloropicrin is extremely irritating to lungs, eyes, and skin. Inhalation may lead to pulmonary edema, possibly resulting in death.

These and other soil fumigants not only pose severe health threats to farmworkers and bystanders, but also threaten soil and water ecosystems. In contrast, organic production seeks to build healthy soils that resist plant pathogens, making fumigation unnecessary. Thus, these fumigants pose unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment. Their registrations should be cancelled.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

Letter to U.S. Representative and Senators

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposal to remove existing limits on the use of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), allowing Californians to breathe much more 1,3-D than other state toxicologists say is safe, highlights the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would allow farmworkers—whose labor was judged “essential” during the pandemic—to be routinely exposed to highly toxic pesticides, which could be replaced by organic practices.

1,3-D is a pre-plant soil fumigant registered for use on soils to control nematodes. It is allowed on all crops and is often used with chloropicrin, another highly toxic fumigant, to increase its herbicidal and fungicidal properties. 1,3-D causes cancer. In addition, the National Institutes of Health’s PubChem states, “Occupational exposure is likely to be through inhalation and via the skin. Irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory mucosa appears promptly after exposure. Dermal exposure caused severe skin irritations. Inhalation may result in serious signs and symptoms of poisoning with lower exposures resulting in depression of the central nervous system and irritation of the respiratory system. Some poisoning incidents have occurred in which persons were hospitalized with signs and symptoms of irritation of the mucous membrane, chest discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and, occasionally, loss of consciousness and decreased libido.” Chloropicrin is extremely irritating to lungs, eyes, and skin. Inhalation may lead to pulmonary edema, possibly resulting in death.

These and other soil fumigants not only pose severe health threats to farmworkers and bystanders, but also threaten soil and water ecosystems. In contrast, organic production seeks to build healthy soils that resist plant pathogens, making fumigation unnecessary. Thus, these fumigants pose unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment.

Please tell EPA that their registrations should be cancelled.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

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One Response to “Hazardous Fumigant in Food Production Harmful to Farmworkers, Groups Call for Ban”

  1. 1
    Patricia Chambers Says:

    It’s past time to stop using these chemicals.

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