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Protect Your Garden and Your Self From Chemical Spray Drift

Aug 18, 2007
About 25 years ago I was working on the farm where I live in Illinois. We were working on an implement of some type making some adjustments preparing to do some field work. A chemical spray truck backed up to a field not more than 16 feet away and began spraying herbicides. It is this stupidity on the part of applicators that is one of the most dangerous aspects of our chemical society.

Five or six years ago another chemical spray truck began spraying the field out in front of our house. That was not so strange but the problem was the current wind conditions were a steady 15 miles per hour directly at our house and yard. I filed a complaint. The Illinois Department of Agriculture sent a person out to take plant samples and subsequently sent the Applicator Company a warning letter.

What people have to do is complain when their person or property is exposed to the myriad number of chemicals sprayed into the environment every day. The chemicals are regulated to some extent and there are guidelines for their application. The steady 15 mile per hour wind was clearly a violation. If an applicator gets enough complaints they could simply be put out of business.

The blaze' attitude evident in my two stories is prevalent in this agricultural area. It is an attitude fostered by chemical companies to take attention away from their poisoning of the environment. Also, it is an attitude held by farmers who really do not want to admit or think about the consequences of what they are doing, even to themselves.

But the blaze' attitude permeates our society. I have seen countless times a young guy walking across a suburban yard with a hose trailing back to a truck. He is spraying out either herbicides or pesticides. Who knows? Then they put these little postage stamp signs on the corner of the yard the is supposed to warn people of the recent application.

I also have seen lots of times state owned trucks driving along the highway spewing chemicals along the roadside to kill everything except the grass. I speak of what I see here in the Midwest. I am sure there are other types of applications in other parts of the country. I know years ago there was a lot of complaint about spraying herbicides from airplanes over forest land.

In Illinois it is the Department of Agriculture that handles complaints about chemical applications. It may be another agency in your state. Probably a call to either the state department of agriculture or the state environmental protection agency will get you started in the right direction. If you know or you think you have been exposed to chemical contamination call them up and find out how to complain.
About the Author
Michael Dappert is a co-founder of Winco, Inc., a provider of wireless internet access to small communities in West Central Illinois. More articles and discussion can be found at Mike's Garden Blog and discusses a wide range of topics at Flyoverfolks.com .
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