Demand that regulators reduce the use of smog-forming pesticides!
Smog-forming pesticides cause air pollution and poison communities, yet pesticide polluters have been getting a free ride for over a decade, leaving communities breathing dirty air. Alternatives to smog-forming pesticides are available. Communities have the right to breathe clean air now!
Smog-forming pesticides cause air pollution
Some pesticides emit volatile organic compounds, or “VOCs.” In hot weather when VOCs mix with chemicals from cars, trucks and power plants, ground level ozone or “smog” air pollution is formed. Air pollution from smog damages lung tissue, exacerbates asthma, reduces lung capacity, increases respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, and increases school and work absenteeism. Pesticides are the third largest contributor to smog in Ventura and
the fourth largest contributor to smog in the San Joaquin Valley.
Smog-forming pesticides—many of which are gaseous fumigant pesticides—have also been responsible for many mass farmworker and community poisonings where hundreds of people became sick.
Regulations to reduce the smog caused from pesticides are long overdue
In 1994, California regulators promised to adopt regulations that would reduce smog-forming emissions by 20% below 1990 levels. But the regulators did not keep their promise, leaving California communities breathing polluted air. California communities had to sue the Schwarzenegger Administration to finally get the rules enforced. In 2006, a coalition of community-based environmental justice groups won a lawsuit that requires regulators to fulfill their promise to clean the air from smog-forming pesticides.
As a result of the lawsuit, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is creating regulations that are supposed to reduce emissions from smog-forming fumigant pesticides by 20% below 1991 levels in the Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, Ventura, Southeast Desert and South Coast air basins.
The draft regulations will not protect public health and achieve the required emissions reductions
Based on highly variable scientific studies and guesswork to estimate smog emissions from pesticides, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is playing with numbers to make it look like they have achieved required emission reductions. Also, since it depends on every pesticide application being done perfectly according to directions in the context of extremely limited enforcement capacity, the success of these regulations is highly uncertain.