October 2021
Residents rally for pesticide notification
Action Alert: State hosts workshops on pesticide notification
Pesticides applied within 2.5 miles linked to childhood cancers
Despite mounting scientific evidence, applications of these cancer-causing pesticides are kept secret
Nurses, teachers, labor leaders, elected officials and concerned residents held simultaneous news conferences in Clovis, Salinas and Bakersfield on Tuesday, to highlight extensive use of 13 pesticides linked to childhood cancers in California's major agricultural counties. Participants called on state and local governments to restrict the use of these pesticides, and to web-post warnings before they and other hazardous pesticides are used. 

Twelve of13 pesticides identified in two recent studies by UCLA as being linked to early childhood cancers are in regular use in California. The studies found that these pesticides increase risk of a child developing specific forms of cancers ranging from 1.60 times (or 60% increased chance) to 3.38 times (or 238% elevated risk), if their mothers lived within 2.5 miles of the pesticide application while pregnant.

More than 28 countries have banned or not approved 10 of the 13 pesticides, yet in California only 4 of the 13 are classified as Restricted Materials, requiring a permit prior to use. One pesticide, paraquat dichloride, carries a "one sip can kill" warning from the US EPA and is banned in 48 countries, and yet was used on an astonishing 1.24 million acres in California in 2018. One of the pesticides is no longer registered in California. The 8 others are non-Restricted and can be used in any amount without a permit.
The first study from 2020, “Prenatal pesticide exposure and childhood leukemia – A California statewide case-control study,” examined correlations between pesticide exposure and childhood leukemias, while the second article from earlier this year looked at pesticide links to childhood brain tumors, “Residential proximity to pesticide application as a risk factor for childhood central nervous system tumors.”

Current state regulations do not address exposure from applications at such distances and therefore do not account for normal pesticide drift. For example, a policy implemented in 2018 that restricts pesticide use around California public schools and daycares applies only to pesticides used within a ¼ mile of schools.

Use of pesticides linked to childhood cancers disproportionately impacts Latinx areas of California. Fresno, Kern and Tulare are three of the 11 majority Latinx counties in California. The use of pesticides linked to childhood cancer in these counties exceeds that of the California counties with the smallest proportional Latinx populations (under 24%) by 2.2 times or 220% in Tulare; 10 times or 1,000% in Fresno County; and 21 times or 2,100% in Kern County when compared by pounds of applied pesticides per county resident. In the Central Coast regions, use of the pesticides is overwhelmingly concentrated in the most Latinx zipcodes, including those that include Oxnard, Salinas and Watsonville.
“Look at where the pesticides linked to childhood cancers are used: overwhelmingly Latinx communities. It’s clear that California and our County Ag Commissioners are not living up to the ‘fair treatment’ standard of Environmental Justice,” said Central California Environmental Justice organizer Lorena Sanpedro, citing the statement on DPR’s website: “Fair treatment means that no one group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should be disproportionately impacted by pesticides.”
CPR members are calling for greater protections and transparency for California residents, including public web-posting of upcoming pesticide applications, increased restrictions on pesticides linked to childhood cancers, and 2.5-mile buffer zones around schools, hospitals, and other sensitive sites, reflecting the distances pesticides are known to drift. 
The advocates cite reform proposals at the federal level and in Europe as examples of health-protective frameworks that California could adopt. The proposed federal bill “Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act” would end indefinite delays in pesticide review, require emergency review of pesticides banned in other nations, end abuse of emergency exemptions, cancel use of organophosphates, neonicotinoids and paraquat, and end state preemption of local pesticide ordinances. 
The “Farm to Fork” strategy proposed by the European Union would reduce overall pesticide use and hazardous pesticide use by 50% by 2030 and require 25% of agricultural land be in organic production by 2030, 
“California and our County Ag Commissioners have to do a better job in protecting our communities from pesticide harms,” said Maria Reyes, an organizer with Tulare County Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety. “We can’t keep using these pesticides that drift for miles and can cause cancer in our children.”

Action Alert: State Workshops on Pesticide Notification
IJoin Public Webinars: November 2 and 3, 2021
The statewide pesticide notification system is currently in the development stage and the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is encouraging participation from the public to help inform the structure and design of the tool at virtual webinars on November 2 and 3, offered in English and Spanish.

The CPR coalition has fought for years to win the right to know about hazardous pesticide use in California, and celebrates the allocation of $10m in the state budget for DPR to develop a regulation.

However, DPR could publish Notices of Intent (NOIs) to use Restricted Material pesticides in advance RIGHT NOW, but chooses not to.

Please join the workshops and let DPR know that web-posting NOIs must happen now, not years from now, and it doesn't take a regulation.

Let's use the regulatory process to make notification even better - such as providing notification for the many pesticides that are known to pose a human and environmental threat but are not currently classified as Restricted Materials. Growers can use these pesticides without a permit or any kind of notice. Many pesticides that are not classified as Restricted in California are carcinogens, bee-killers, and/or are banned in dozens of other countries.

Please use the following details to join the webinars:
A link to a recording of each webinar and a summary of public input will be available in Spanish and English following the event.
If you would like to provide feedback in writing to DPR, please email ProjectNotify@cdpr.ca.gov.