Presence of toxic insecticide in California air samples

Photo Credit:  Tim Bates Photo Credit: Tim Bates

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published an air monitoring paper reporting that air tests have detected chlorpyrifos in 30 percent of communities surrounded by intensive agriculture. Chlorpyrifos are often organophosphates used as insecticides on many crops, such as corn, cotton, almonds, oranges, and apples. Exposure to chlorpyrifos has been associated with human toxicity, and some of the health effects linked to exposure can include headaches, vomiting, severe lung irritation, and neurological effects. People living in neighborhoods close to agricultural fields face a greater health risk from these pesticides, but insecticide fumigants and sprays such as chlorpyrifos are prone to drift and can travel long distances in the right weather conditions. The best way for consumers to prevent use of hazardous fumigants and other pesticides is to buy organically produced food.