Produced by KQED's community correspondents, ouRXperience was launched with the idea that the best way to learn about the health lives of our communities is to give voice to community members themselves. Read more about our blog here.
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The blog ouRXperience is reported by our community correspondents: involved residents committed to informing the rest of us about what is happening in neighborhoods across California. Learn more about our correspondents here.
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Category Archives: Salinas
On January 11, a lawsuit that was filed against the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and Arysta LifeScience, the maker of methyl iodide, by California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and Earthjustice was heard in Oakland by the Alameda County Superior Court. This is the first case of its sort. Pesticide-use challenges are rare; a lawsuit was filed in this case due to the severity of the effects of methyl iodide and the controversy around its approval. A ruling is expected in the coming weeks.
Pesticide exposure is a major issue in Salinas, and there are a range of pesticide-related illnesses and injuries that are on the rise in the area. The Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program monitors these incidents.
Pesticides are not only a threat to those that work with them but also to those that live in the agriculture community itself. The Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) is trying to educate the community of Salinas about the risks of pesticide exposure.
In Salinas, pesticide exposure is a major concern. Salinas is an agricultural community and pesticides are widely used. The health effects of pesticide exposure are numerous, ranging from asthma, birth defects, hormone disruptions, neurological effects and cancer. According to the Inventory of Farmworker Issues and Protections in the U.S. [PDF], pesticide exposure is among the primary issues that affect the farmworker population. But farmworkers are not the only ones affected: residents of agriculture communities can also become exposed as a result of pesticide drift.
Though there are many groups advocating for farm-worker rights, like the United Farm Workers of America and Farmworker Justice, not much has changed since the days of Cesar Chavez to improve their safety and health. On June 28, 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 104, the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act that would have allowed California farm-workers to unionize and demand safe working conditions and “prevent negligent farm conditions from leading to serious medical conditions and death.” This bill could have helped the 70 percent of farm-workers in Salinas that don’t have health insurance and can’t see a doctor when they are sick because medical care is too expensive.