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Daily News Blog

22
May

Take Action: Air Contamination from Agricultural Fumigants Threatens Farmworkers and Their Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2023) Since most of the domestically produced fresh produce we eat comes from California, what happens in the state is of concern to most consumers. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has made minor adjustments to its proposal to 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 at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment—charged with establishing safe limits of exposure and enforcing Prop 65—say is safe, highlights the dangers to which farmworkers are routinely exposed. It is outrageous that 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. You may have commented on this early in the year, and now we need to follow up with a strong message to protect those who harvest the nation’s food. 

Tell EPA, Congress, and CDPR 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. 

Tell EPA, Congress, and CDPR to cancel the registration of all toxic soil fumigants and encourage organic alternatives.

For more information, please see Beyond Pesticides’ comments to CDPR on proposed regulation #22-005 for 1,3 dichloropropene soil fumigation AND CDPR’s notice of proposed changes in the regulations with notice of public hearing.

Letter of 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 U.S. 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. The minor changes to amend the state’s earlier proposal are woefully inadequate.

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 Congress
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 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. The minor changes to amend the state’s earlier proposal are woefully inadequate.

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.

Letter to California Department of Pesticide Regulation
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 DPR 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. The minor changes to amend the state’s earlier proposal are woefully inadequate.

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.

Share

7 Responses to “Take Action: Air Contamination from Agricultural Fumigants Threatens Farmworkers and Their Communities”

  1. 1
    Cathie Wanner Ernst Says:

    Do the right thing for people not big biz

  2. 2
    Kathy Kushman Says:

    These chemicals must be banished to save our planet and its inhabitants. Poison does not belong in our food supply or air. Stop killing our planet.

  3. 3
    priscilla martinez Says:

    We need to take better care of what is left of our environment, for people, wildlife, marine life, and plant life.

  4. 4
    Joyce Stoffers Says:

    Cancel toxic fumigants that are dangerous to workers and replace them with safer organic products.

  5. 5
    Beverly Antonio Says:

    Please protect the health of farm workers and rural communities

  6. 6
    Linda Hendrix Says:

    THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, THEY DESERVE BETTER FOR BRINGING OUR FOOD TO THE TABLE.

  7. 7
    Maryann Smale Says:

    Stop polluting the earth and its people. Do the right thing. You are killing the workers.

Leave a Reply

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