PESTICIDES & PESTICIDE DRIFT 101

WHAT IS PESTICIDE DRIFT?

Pesticide drift happens when pesticides move through the air from the intended application site to places they shouldn’t be – homes, schools, neighboring farms, playgrounds, bee yards, etc.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS FROM PESTICIDE DRIFT?

Short-term impacts: headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.  

Acute dangers: such as nerve, skin, and eye irritation and damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and systemic poisoning - can sometimes be dramatic, and even fatal.  

WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?

Pesticide drift can cause economic, environmental, and human health damage. Farmers are frequently unable to sell crops that have been damaged by drift, especially if the crops were certified organic. Livestock can become ill, and sometimes die, when exposed to drifting pesticides. People can experience short term health issues such as burning skin, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, and long term conditions including asthma, fatigue, depression, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, some forms of cancer, increased chemical sensitivity, and neurological impairments. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF PESTICIDE DRIFT HAS IMPACTED ME OR MY FAMILY? 

  1. REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY!!! We know it's tough to deal with government bureaucracy sometimes, but reporting it will help us all by keeping track of the number of drift incidents in the state. Hopefully, it will also help you find a resolution to the problem you're facing. Remember Toxic Taters is here to help. In Minnesota, reports should first be reported to the MN Poison Control System anytime by calling 1(800)222-1222 or online at http://www.mnpoison.org/.  You can fill out a complaint online through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) at https://www.mda.state.mn.us/pesticide-fertilizer-misuse-complaint-form#no-back or call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Reports can be made by telephone at 651-201- 6333 (8AM-4PM).  After hours, contact the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.  On the White Earth Indian Reservation call the Pesticide Coordinator at 218-935-2488 ext. 2115. 
  2. Call a doctor immediately and report exposure. Ask to have your report put in your medical file. Ask what symptoms you should watch for and what medical remedies are available.
  3. If people were exposed to drift, put any clothing worn at the time of exposure into an airtight plastic bag and put the bag in the freezer. Provide this bag to the investigator.
  4. Document everything in writing. Include dates, times, and as much detail as you are able as soon as possible.
  5. For drift incidents in Minnesota, call Toxic Taters at 218-375-2600 for additional information and support.
  6. For drift incidents in Minnesota, call EPA Region 5 to report the incident 312-353-2000 or 1-800-621-8431

WHAT SHOULD I RECORD IF I OR MY FAMILY EXPERIENCE PESTICIDE DRIFT?

If you or your family experience pesticide drift, keep a record of everything you notice during and after the incident.

  1. Date, time and details of the incident, including weather (wind direction and speed/strength, precipitation at the time of drift and between drift incident and sampling, and temperature) and any odors in the air (like sweet, sulfur, skunk, other).
  2. Affected crops and other land -- include photos
  3. Pesticide applicator name, contact information, prior notification, spray plane description, and FAA registration number
  4. Owner of the land intentionally sprayed and types of crops sprayed
  5. Who was affected; how they were exposed; symptoms; medical attention sought
  6. Chemical compounds involved, if known
  7. Organic certifier test results and notification information (if you are an organic grower)
  8. MN Department of Agriculture Investigation: dates, times, samples, test results, orders, investigation case file (after release)
  9. White Earth Natural Resources Investigation: dates, times, samples, test results, orders, investigation case file (after release)
  10. Potentially provable damages (value of crop ordered destroyed, documented loss of sales, loss of organic certification, response costs)
  11. All documents and correspondence, including email, related to the drift incident

*Note: Different records are needed to document health impacts, damage to conventional and organic crops. When in doubt, keep all your records and communications. 

Toxic Taters Brochure (PDF)

PAN PESTICIDES DATABASE - PESTICIDE POISONING DIAGNOSTIC TOOL

  • This tool is designed primarily to help healthcare providers recognize, manage and report pesticide-related illnesses. It can help identify a pesticide or class of pesticides that may be responsible for a pesticide-related illness. This resource also provides information for reporting a known or suspected pesticide poisoning. Find out more about data sources and search methodology.

Pesticide residues found in potatoes link

***All information can be found Pesticide Action Network’s website here***

1. Tests for any given food are often conducted in multiple years. In all cases WhatsOnMyFood shows only the most recent test year. The test results for Potatoes come from test year 2009.

2. All pesticide residue results on this page and elsewhere on the WhatsOnMyFood website were obtained by the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP)

3. Punzi, JS, Lamont, M, Haynes, D, Epstein, RL, USDA Pesticide Data Program: Pesticide Residues on Fresh and Processed Fruit and Vegetables, Grains, Meats, Milk, and Drinking Water, Outlooks on Pesticide Management, June, 2005. Available online

4. All toxicological data was either compiled for this site — typically from U.S. EPA reregistration eligibility decisions — or obtained from data compiled for the PesticideInfo website

5. Includes pesticides that are moderately acutely toxic, highly acutely toxic or chronically toxic to honeybees.

6. The percentage found is for all four of the following combinations combined: domestic or imported, and conventional or organic. To see data broken down into each of these combinations separately, click on "Conventional vs. Organic."

7. A pesticide residue may not be listed as carcinogenic, neurotoxic, hormone-disrupting or as a reproductive or developmental toxicant for either of two reasons: (1) it may have been studied for toxicity in one or more of these categories and the weight of the evidence did not support designating it as toxic, or (2) it may not have been studied.

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"Farm to Family Pesticide Free: Addressing McDonald's Impacts on Our Families 2016" Webinar. 
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FORESTS TO FRIES

Toxic Taters has been working since early 2015 to protect Hubbard, Becker, Wadena, and Cass counties from an RDO expansion that has been threatening thousands of acres of the pines with conversion into potato fields.  

In February of 2015 RDO was seeking 54 new well permits in the Pineland Sands Aquifer.  Thanks to citizen pressure one year later only one well has been approved and two additional permits are in process.

As of February 13th, 2016 we haven't gotten the DNR to require that RDO do an environmental assessment, but we've effectively paused the expansion.  

Now, we are calling on RDO's major buyer, McDonald's to show their commitment against deforestation by telling RDO forests are worth more than fries.  

We will continue to work to protect the water, land, forests, and communities of the Pinelands Sands Aquifer from RDO Expansion.  

You can see our petition for an environmental assessment and the DNR's decision by clicking on the links below.

Citizens EAW Petition

DNR EAW Decision 

TOXIC TATERS STANCE ON GMOS

The following position statement regarding GMO's was adopted by the Toxic Taters Leadership Team on 9-28-15.

 

Toxic Taters does not support GMOs.  Research has linked GMOs with increased pesticide use. We recognize the increased use of pesticides along with other attributes of genetically modified organisms to harm the environment and human health, as well as cause negative impacts on the livelihoods of non-GMO and organic farmers.  We believe that the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants for generations to come must be prioritized over corporate profits.  This does not occur with GMOs and therefore we cannot support their use.

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