Parents concerned about UCLA pesticide study

Posted at 8:32 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 23:32:19-05

A day after a report out of UCLA claimed that some commonly used pesticides could combine to pose a serious health risk, a group of concerned citizens and parents gathered near Arvin High School on Thursday.

They chose that spot because the school is less than a mile from crops where some of these pesticides are supposedly used.

The chemicals in question are chloropicrin, Telone and metam salts. The report stated that all of these fumigates are unhealthy on their own, but combining them could lead to an increased risk for cancer.

"I have a grandson, and that school is probably a quarter of a mile away from almond trees," said Gloria Herrera, a resident of Delano. Pesticides like Telone are often used on almond trees according to the group.

"I never actually paid attention now until I became a mom," said Byanka Santoyo of Arvin. "I was more concerned of now the safety of my child."

The group called for the state to create spray restrictions around sensitive sites like schools and residential areas. Specifically, they want a one-mile buffer zone created where spraying would not be allowed.

"We're only asking them to at least give a little protection because our children are the future," Herrera said.

The group wanted to make it clear that they are not against farmers and that many of them have family and friends who depend on agriculture; they simply want to find a safer alternative.