To Campus Community,

Farms adjacent to the campus routinely utilize “integrated pest management” whereby a variety of measures (e.g. introduction of predatory or parasitic organisms, physical barriers, crop rotations, crop selection, pesticides etc.) are used to control crop pests. Pesticides in particular, have known adverse effects but at times they are used when, in the farmer’s judgment, benefits outweigh those adverse effects.

Pesticides are used safely, both for workers applying it and adjacent sensitive neighbors such as residences or schools, on a very large scale across the country. We have no reason to expect adverse health effects on campus from the proper use of pesticides on adjacent farms. However, in the U.S. there have been infrequent but significant and well publicized “drift” exposures of neighbors to farm applied pesticides.

The safe use of pesticides is controlled by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California has the most strict pesticide regulations in the nation. Under current regulations applicators must be certified and a permit detailing site specific safety procedures must be obtained from the local Agricultural Commissioner every time dangerous pesticides are used.

Generally, farmers should not apply pesticides if there is a reasonable likelihood that there will be substantial drift of pesticide on to University property. You should contact the campus safety office if you have indications that such “pesticide drift” is occurring. For example, a visible cloud or mist moving onto University property is a reason for concern.

The surrounding farmland provides much of the unique and beautiful quality of our campus; to maintain this atmosphere into the indefinite future will require the cooperation of farmers and the University community. In building our community, values and environment, the survival and viability of the neighboring farms is in our, and the farmers, best interests. To this end we must respect a farmer’s right to use pesticides and farmers must respect our right to expect responsible and safe use.

For more information or if you have questions or concerns please contact the campus office of Environment, Health and Safety (437-8847).

Bill Kupfer
Director Environment, Health and Safety

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