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Think Your Pesticide Applicator Knows What He’s Doing?

We know that pesticides are dangerous when they’re applied properly, but the danger is multiplied when the applicators fail to follow proper procedure. Sadly, this happens too often as pesticide businesses dodge legal procedures and fail to educate workers.

Just last month, a pest control service in Wenatchee, WA, was fined $3,100 and had its license revoked for improper storage of pesticides, as well as improper application that damaged nearby trees.

This week, a Mississippi company was fined for an aerial spraying incident last summer. A field of corn adjacent to a hiking trail was sprayed on a day conducive to pesticide drift, resulting in the illness of a number of hikers, which included high school students.

In January, a Newark, NJ company was fined $860,000 for misapplication of hazardous pesticides in dozens of homes. The chemicals were applied to control bedbugs, and included Malathion and Carbaryl, highly toxic pesticides not approved for indoor use.

Fox news picked up a story out of Georgia in 2009 that showed a pesticide applicator spraying the carpet and underside of cribs in a daycare center just minutes prior to the babies being returned to the room. The applicator admitted later that he’d informed the daycare workers it was safe to return the babies to the room. Two of the babies became severly ill afterward.

Watch the video here:

Perhaps the most tragic of recent violations is the story of out of Utah, in which two young sisters died last year after being exposed to Fumitoxin in the bug pellets placed under the porch of their home. Although the mother had questioned the applicator about the strange smell seeping into the home, she was told not to be concerned. Two days later, both her young daughters were gone.

The purchase of a pesticide applicator permit means little when it comes to protecting our health and the health of our environment. If we can’t be assured the permitting process will keep us safe, then it’s time we look for safer alternatives.

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