Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kids on the Frontline

We heard from a person who reported driving down a country road when a plane flew over their vehicle and droplets from the plane landed on them as they drove by.  She was indignant that this happened and upset when she told us about it.  But, she didn't feel there was much that could be done about it.  "And," she said, "I suppose no one was really hurt by it anyway."

Another individual told us about the time he was riding on a bike trail on a windy day.  As he rode by a field, a rig was applying some sort of chemical and the wind blew it towards him.  He tried to hold his breath as he went by and was upset by the experience.  He had some headaches afterwards, but figured it could be for any particular reason.  Maybe he pushed too hard and didn't stay hydrated.  No one was really hurt by it, so maybe he should just let it pass.

After all.

You live in Iowa, so deal with it.

It's time to get over that attitude.  It is becoming clear that our continuing OVERUSE and MISUSE of chemicals for horticulture, agriculture and for our own 'lawn vanity' has costs that we should be unwilling to pay.  

On May 10 of this year, the Pesticide Action Network held a press conference announcing the release of their report on pesticides and their impacts on children.  If you would like to read about this press conference, you can go here:
Carmen Black and Mark Quee
You will see that our good friend, Mark Quee was one of the speakers at this event.  Mark has an innate ability to take a report with all kinds of factual details and turn it into something that is personal - something we should have feelings about and something we need to take action on.  He, in particular, spoke about his personal worry about how his actions and inactions, in addition to our collective action/inaction, are effecting his child.  In short, this isn't about someone you don't know.  This is about the children in YOUR life.  What you do with this information, or fail to do, can impact them.

Also at this event was Kent Boyum, who is a board member for the Iowa Organic Association with Rob.  IOA decided that they wanted to stand behind this report after a few of the members reviewed the document.  The research is sound and I personally feel that the authors worked very hard to say ONLY what the research is saying.  They do this even though it is so tempting to extrapolate what only seems logical beyond what the research says.

The Report is Here

Of course, more research is needed and will be important.  However, there is, in my opinion, enough here that we need to be setting up to take action.  We have energy and knowledge within the scientific community to develop these chemicals.  That means we should have the same kind of energy to find ways to limit their use and better target their application.  It also means that we have the ability to work harder to be absolutely sure we have a sound knowledge of both short-term and long-term effects of chemical application.

Tammy and I are convinced that PAN is a good organization that is trying to help collect information and advocate for approaches that prevent application of chemicals that can adversely affect health.  Emily Marquez put some amazing effort into developing the most recent report.  This report is not about demonizing people who use chemicals, nor is it about making people who opt not to use them angels.

What is it about?  It's about admitting that the things we do impact those around us.  It's about realizing mistakes we make and looking for ways to correct them as we discover them.  It's about opening our eyes and forcing ourselves to stop ignoring problems that are in front of them.  We have a problem (or a set of them) and we need to address it.

Start by taking a little time and reading this report.


  1. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Thanks for the post! I shared it on my facebook page. Like Emily said today, the report is now on the public domain, and hopefully we can get more people to hear about it, become concerned over our kids and their future, and eventually lead to something been done about the abusive usage of chemicals. We have our hope...

  2. It makes me wonder, I grew up next to corn and soybeans. This concerns me as I have kids and they like to breathe.


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