top
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing & Public Services
Will CA Department of Pesticide Regulation ban Big Ag's use of Toxic Air Contaminates?
by Kate Hitt
Wednesday Nov 21st, 2018 11:39 PM
As a Watsonville local and school bus driver, I have had it with all the toxic fumigants and sprays that are poisoning us and contributing to climate change. I joined Safe Ag, Safe Schools to stop poisoning kids and neighbors by making 1 mile 24-hour no toxic spray or fumigation buffer zones around schools.
From: Kate Hitt
Subject: comment on proposed action Toxic Air Contaminants DPR Regulation No. 18-002
Date: November 17, 2018
To: The Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Sir:
After the DPR hearing Nov. 8, 2018 to ask you to ban the neurotoxin chlorpyrifos immediately, we were driving back to Watsonville from Sacramento and were sickened by, of all things, chlorpyrifos being sprayed in the orchards. It would not dissipate because of the forest fires to the north. It hung over the freeway in the cool inverted smoke. Toxic fumigants recently sprayed by my neighborhood were hanging in the air when I got home that night too.

After almost 15 years of safely driving thousands of students to and from school and special events, I retired from Pajaro Valley Unified School District in September. Because of pesticide poisoning, I now have irreversible peripheral neuropathy, weak bones and muscles, brain fog and asthma.

I am not the only employee of a public school district to suffer, not the only resident to suffer from terrible chemicals being sprayed and pumped under plastic and floating in air 24/7. We are the collateral damage of the spray and fumigants being used all around us with no regard as to drift or toxicity.

The school buses are parked in the fields. My 200 daily student passengers and I suffered from headaches, difficulty breathing, even bloody noses. They became extremely irritable, and I had delayed reaction times when driving. Yes, farmers cannot spray during school hours but that does not stop them from spraying and fumigating all the other times near schools and homes. Which they do. A lot.

So I have become another negative statistic in this war on Mother Earth. If I am killed before my time, I cannot be a productive member of society. You damage a parent, a baby or student, and they become wards of the state. You cannot tell me there are no adverse impacts to our community, small business, local agencies, schools, or housing.

Stop making us have to quit our jobs and move away from California. Little did I know that night that California would be under fire. There is no doubt in my mind it is from global warming. Methyl Bromide is still depleting the ozone layer. Sterile soil by tenting and covering the miles of land with plastic, all the water sucked out and not allowed to recycle by these toxic Big Ag monocultures who constantly spray highly flammable, gaseous, petro-based neurotoxic bee-killing, mind chilling chemicals which, in contact with dust, and in combination with drought, causes the weakened forests to burn!

The more they spray the fields the farther people have to go to find safe work. Don’t you think that is bad for the economy and contributes to climate change too?

Stop this nightmare. Ban chlorpyrifos. Ban telone and chlorpicrin too. Now.