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Pesticide Contamination in Lindsay Residents’ Bodies

May 16th, 2007

Irma Arrollo, President of El Quinto Sol de América, mother of four children and resident of Lindsay, California calling for an end to pesticide air pollution.

Tired of seeing their children become ill during times of peak pesticide spraying, a group of concerned residents of Lindsay, Tulare County tested the air they breathe and their own bodies for the presence of the commonly used, highly toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Over 91% of the people tested had above average levels of breakdown products of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in their urine, and most of the women had amounts above the level calculated from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data to be safe for pregnant and nursing women.

Community members are calling for stronger protections from chlorpyrifos and other high-hazard pesticides, including establishing protection zones between residential areas and fields that are sprayed, and notification laws for applicators so that residents can be warned before spraying occurs. They are also asking the EPA and California State Department of Pesticide Regulation to phase out and eliminate chlorpyrifos for agricultural uses. A phaseout of all domestic uses of chlorpyrifos was completed in 2005—a decision based largely on the health hazards it posed to children—yet chlorpyrifos is still widely used in agriculture where the threat of exposure remains high for rural residents, including children. 

Read a summary of the study results and recommendations in English or Spanish.

Read profiles of the Lindsay residents who participated in the study.

Download a map of air monitoring sites in Lindsay and graphs of air monitoring results and urine monitoring results.

Background information:
The Need for Protection Zones in Tulare County
Chlorpyrifos factsheet

Factsheet: Recent pesticide exposure incidents & health effects of pesticides

Media information:

Read the media advisory.

For more information, contact:
Tracey Brieger, Californians for Pesticide Reform 415-981-3939 x6 or 415-215-5473 or Stephenie Hendricks, Pesticide Action Network North America 415 981-1771-ext 355.

Available for interviews:

•    Irma Arrollo, President, El Quinto Sol de América, 559-827-7786, irma_medellin@yahoo.com

•    Teresa DeAnda, Central Valley Representative, Californians for Pesticide Reform, 661-304-4080, teresa@igc.org

•    Dr. Margaret Reeves, Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network, 415 981-1771 ext 326 mreeves@panna.org

•    Sharyle Patton, Director, Commonweal Health and Environment Program 415-868-0970 spatton@commonweal.org

•    Gustavo Aguirre, Assistant Director of Organizing, Center on Race Poverty & the Environment (661) 667-0136, aguigustavo@gmail.com

Additional Resources:

Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Program

PANNA Drift Catcher Page

PANNA Organophosphate Page (Chlorpyrifos is one inf a class of pesticides called 'organophosphates')

PANNA Organophosphate Report Page

SAFE (Safe Air For Everyone) Campaign