Posts tagged: pesticides

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Shirley Hao's blog posts
01 November 2010, 4:54 PM
Invasion of the goats, coming to a weed-choked lot near you

It’s finally happened. The job outsourcing phenomenon has moved to another level. Forget outsourcing jobs to other countries—now they’re being outsourced to other species.

Portland, OR, is just the latest urban area to join the hip (and sensible) species outsourcing trend. Quiet the noisy, gas guzzling, carbon polluting lawn mower. Leave those toxic herbicides on the store shelf. It’s time to call in the goats.

Photo of goat. Credit: William A. Clark.

Here's looking at you, kid. Credit: William A. Clark.
View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
22 July 2010, 12:08 PM
Chlorpyrifos is in same chemical family as Nazi nerve agents

<Update: Read the San Francisco Chronicle story on this issue.>

Terri Carawan's health problems began in 1984, soon after the spraying started. Her skin became inflamed and her burning, itching eyes were nearly swollen shut with fluid. Despite tremendous fatigue, she struggled with sleeplessness.

It turns out that the telephone company where Terri worked as an operator had recently hired a pest control service to deal with lice and other insects in the building. Every month, they sprayed a pesticide called chlorpyrifos throughout the premises, including on the switchboard Terri operated.

In one of my first cases as a young lawyer, I represented Terri after her exposure to chlorpyrifos, recovering her medical expenses and lost wages and getting the spraying stopped. More than a quarter century later, while most indoor uses of chlorpyrifos have been banned due to risks to human health, the pesticide is still sprayed liberally—nearly 10 million pounds per year—on corn, oranges, and other crops in fields and orchards across the United States.

Today, I am proud that Earthjustice, along with NRDC and Pesticide Action Network, is filing suit to get this dangerous pesticide banned for good.

13 Comments   /  
View Tom Turner's blog posts
13 July 2010, 10:04 AM
Here's a long-range strategy for reforming agriculture

Wes Jackson, a plain-spoken Kansan, has been preaching agriculture reform for at least 30 years—and not only preaching but also doing ground-breaking (pardon) research at his Land Institute near Salina. Wes's basic observation is that a system such as ours, heavily reliant on wheat and corn and other grains, which requires plowing and starting from seed every year, needs fixing. It requires heavy doses of pesticides, which contaminate water and sicken field workers. It squanders topsoil, losing it to erosion and the wind.

2 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
03 June 2010, 1:57 PM
Toxic America series continues tonight at 8 pm ET/PT

Did you tune into CNN's special series "Toxic Towns USA" last night? I sure did. I wanted to root on our friends and allies in the town of Mossville, LA who were featured in the special one-hour program hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Among the local heroes profiled in the piece was Dorothy Felix, who has spent much of the past decade fighting to protect her community from the cancer-causing chemicals raining down upon her hometown of Mossville, a historically African-American community in southwestern Louisiana ringed by chemical plants.

This is a community where University of Texas researchers found that 99 percent of residents suffered from at least one disease or illness related to toxic chemical exposure. Further studies found blood levels of dioxin in Mossville residents rivaling those seen in workers involved in industrial accidents. The toxicologists studying these results called them some of the highest levels ever reported in the United States from an environmental exposure.

11 Comments   /  
View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
29 March 2010, 12:01 PM
Like farm crops, pets get poisoned

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mulls over the 42,000 letters sent from Earthjustice supporters and others who expressed support for safety standards protecting rural kids from pesticides, it's important to remember that pesticides aren't just limited to the fields.

Every spring, pet owners slick the backs of their dogs and cats with over-the-counter treatments designed to keep fleas and ticks at bay. The problem is that these treatments, which are also found stocked on shelves of pet stores nationwide in the spray, collar and shampoo form, contain toxic pesticides. Think of it as your very own bottle-o-poison.

The EPA has been keeping a watchdog's eye on these so-called spot-on treatments due to an increase in incident reports where pets have experienced adverse reactions that range from mild to downright serious.

5 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
16 March 2010, 9:43 AM
They all want EPA to protect rural kids from pesticides

As I write, officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are wading through the tens of thousands of letters Earthjustice supporters and their counterparts at MomsRising, Pesticide Action Network and United Farmworkers sent asking the agency to protect rural kids from pesticides.

These 42,000 people—along with 51 groups in 18 states—are publicly supporting our petition for safety standards to protect children who grow up near farms from the harmful effects of pesticide 'drift'—the toxic spray or vapor that travels from treated fields—and for immediate no-spray buffer zones around homes, schools, parks and daycare centers for the most dangerous and drift-prone pesticides.

As EPA officials complete their tally, I hope they're paying particular attention to the personal stories people shared in their letters. People like Cynthia Piper, of Lakewood, OH, who after seeing children exposed to pesticides suffer from deformities, fought for a right-to-know pesticide spray ordinance in her town. Or JeanAnn Hurst of Chowchilla, CA, whose son was exposed to the nerve-gas pesticide chlorpyrifos while on school grounds. You can find Cynthia and JeanAnn's stories on our interactive map. And if you've had a close encounter with pesticides yourself, please consider submitting your story as well.

3 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
03 March 2010, 2:02 PM
Saving the world 140 characters at a time

The microblogging site Twitter is poised to hit a major milestone: sometime in the next day or so one lucky Twitter user is expected to send out the ten billionth tweet (real-time counter is here).

Whether you love exchanging ideas in 140-character bursts, or if U H8 the resulting abbrevs, people will be paying very close attention to the string of words that mark Twitter's ascension into the big, big time.

So what will that 10 billionth tweet say? How about "Protect Rural Kids From Pesticides! Take action here:"?

2 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
01 March 2010, 9:25 AM
Five days left to tell EPA to protect rural kids from pesticides
Teresa de Anda, Californians for Pesticide Reform. Photo is from Tracy Perkins' collection: 25 Stories From the Central Valley

In case you missed it, NPR had a very good piece Sunday on Earthjustice's efforts to protect rural children from "pesticide drift"—the toxic spray or vapor that travels from pesticide-treated fields and into nearby communities.

Each year, nearly a billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed into fields and orchards around the country. And as our partner Teresa de Anda with Californians for Pesticide Reform told the NPR reporter, just about everyone in these agricultural areas has a story to tell about unnerving encounters with pesticides.

41 Comments   /  
View Patti Goldman's blog posts
24 February 2010, 3:13 PM
Only 8 days remain to contact EPA
Adelaida Galvez and her daughter Genoveva, who has been exposed to pesticides, live across from an orange grove in Lindsay, CA.

Pesticides, by design, maim, incapacitate, or kill pests. But throughout this country, pesticides drift from the fields where they are sprayed to areas where children live, learn, and play, causing similar harm. Far too many children suffer acute nerve poisoning illnesses from pesticides and they risk debilitating long-term effects like cancer, reproductive impairments, and learning disabilities.

As its name suggests, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with protecting children from pesticide-induced illnesses. In fact, in 1996, Congress unanimously passed the Food Quality Protection Act, giving EPA 10 years to ensure that children would not be harmed by their aggregate exposures to a pesticide.

To do this, EPA added up the exposures to children from a pesticide in food, drinking water, homes, and yards. Unfortunately, it failed to include what is often the biggest exposure for rural kids, kids living near fields or orchards, and farmworkers—pesticides moving through the air to envelop and permeate the homes, schools, parks, and playgrounds. This route of exposure, known as pesticide drift, occurs following pesticide application.

8 Comments   /  
View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
21 January 2010, 12:25 PM
Focus is on clean energy, natural heritage, and health

Last year, the U.S. government started taking environmental protection seriously again, but as 2010 dawns, we continue to see political and economic interests preventing or stalling critical environmental solutions.

In the face of this opposition, this year Earthjustice is targeting key issues with our legal and advocacy work. Our focus is on three core priorities: building a clean energy future, protecting our natural heritage, and safeguarding our health.

To avoid global warming's worst impacts, we must build a clean energy future. Reducing demand through efficiency and increasing supply from renewable sources of power are cornerstones of the foundation. But these steps are obstructed by the political stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry. Earthjustice is using the law to help break our national reliance on fossil fuels, which we continue to extract, burn, and subsidize heavily with taxpayer money, despite the destructive impact on people and the planet.

8 Comments   /