Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mom'sRising asks you to Act today to protect our Children and us from bad EPA policies to date

I am happy to pass on this letter in order to promote CLEAN AIR in America. Congress needs to act to save us and our children. Read this and then contact Congress. Thanks

Dear Kevin,

Luis Medellin and his three little sisters live in the middle of an orange grove in Lindsay, CA - a small farming town in the Central Valley. During the growing season, Luis and his sisters wake up to the smell of nighttime pesticide spraying several times a week. If the smell isn't bad enough, what follows is worse: Nausea, headaches, and even vomiting.

From apple orchards in Washington to potato fields in Florida, drifting poisonous pesticides impact the people who live nearby. These pesticides pose a particular risk to the young children of the nation's farm workers, many of whom live in industry housing at the field's edge.

The Medellin family's story, and stories like theirs, have inspired MomsRising to sign on to a petition from Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We're calling for commonsense safety standards protecting children who grow up near farms from the harmful effects of pesticide drift. But we need your help!

Ask the EPA to protect children's health and adopt no-spray buffer zones around homes, schools, parks and daycare centers!

What is pesticide drift?

Dangerous pesticides drift off of fields and farmlands. They move on the wind and in streams, rivers and oceans. They concentrate as they move up the food chain. So, while farmers and farmworkers' children bear some of the highest risks, persistent pesticides contaminate the environment and permeate the food chain such that even kids in city cafeterias face exposure. [1] And that exposure can lead to a host of frightening health risks, including childhood brain cancer, autism, and endocrine disruption. Children are especially vulnerable because of their developing bodies, which absorb far higher concentrations of pesticides than those of adults. [2]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken the first step in addressing this problem by opening up this petition for public comment. It's a promising sign. Unfortunately, pesticide industry interests have already started pushing the EPA not to implement these changes. If we want them to do the right thing and create immediate pesticide buffers in and around the areas where kids live, learn, and play, we need to push back!

Urge the EPA to do the right thing for our kids and fix the pesticide drift problem!

In the past, the EPA hasn't treated these issue as a priority. In 1996, Congress required the EPA to set standards by 2006 to protect children from pesticides. Three years after the deadline, the job is only partially complete. Though some progress has been made in banning the use of certain pesticides in homes and on lawns, they have failed to protect children from these same pesticides when they drift into nearby yards, schools, and daycare centers.

Children who live near farms and orchards deserve to be kept safe from poisonous pesticides. Will you add your voice to those calling for a change?

Together we can build a safer and healthier nation for all of our children.

Thank you!

-- Ariana, Claire, Kristin, and the MomsRising Team.

P.S. If you need more inspiration, you can read Cindy Dominguez's personal story about pesticide drift here, and see a video about this petition to the EPA here .

P.P.S. After you take action, please forward this message to your friends and family, so we can keep children in farming communities safe.



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