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Toxic Exposure To Pesticides Is Still A Big Problem In California

Posted by Denis Zilberberg
Filed in Mold Exposure

California is the largest agricultural state in the US. So it’s not surprising that California also uses more pesticides than any other state. And despite recent measures to reduce pesticide use in the state, the last few years have seen near-record use of pesticides. Adverse consequences to health from exposure to pesticides have been known or suspected for many years. Yet laws regulating the use of pesticides have not been effective in limiting exposure despite increasing evidence of the connection between pesticides and the development of disease.

At the Law Office of John B. Richards, we know that exposure to toxic materials can have serious and often long-term consequences. Our Santa Barbara toxic exposure attorney helps our clients recover from their immediate injuries and for the probable injuries that can develop over time.

What is Toxic Exposure?

Toxic exposure is coming into contact with a toxin – a substance that is poisonous to us. Toxins are in

  • The air we breathe
  • The food and liquids we eat and drink
  • The products that come into contact with our skin

Basically, toxins are everywhere.

Not everyone reacts in the same way to toxic exposure. And some toxins have a far more serious effect on our bodies depending on the length of exposure and the severity of the toxin.

Toxic Exposure to Air Toxics

Like people everywhere, Californians are exposed to pollutants and other toxic substances in the air. Air toxics are a major concern of the Air Pollution Control District of Santa Barbara County.

Air toxics are chemicals in the air that are harmful to our health. The higher the concentration of air toxins and the longer the exposure, the more likely serious health consequences will result. Air toxic exposure is known to cause cancer and has been linked to other neurological, reproductive, developmental, and respiratory health issues.

Pesticides are a Dangerous Air Toxic Exposure in California

California uses 20% of the pesticides (over 210 million pounds) in the US even though they grow only 3% or less of the planted crops. Pesticides are heavily used in the production of the state’s fruit, vegetable, and nut crops. Even though pesticide use in the state has been near record highs in recent years, California has recognized the problem of pesticide toxicity and changes are underway.

Last year California became the first state to ban the widely used, brain-damaging pesticide Chlorpyrifos. Exposure to Chlorpyrifos is linked to learning disabilities in children. California’s Governor has promised to move away from harmful pesticides by updating the state’s pesticide fee system to increase fees based on pesticide toxicity.

Health Effects of Toxic Exposure to Pesticides

If you are exposed to pesticides you might have an immediate reaction or you may not realize that you have been exposed until years later when the cumulative effect of prolonged exposure results in serious illness. Young children tend to be the most vulnerable to the effects of pesticide toxicity. And those with the highest exposure tend to be farmworkers and others working directly with pesticides.

Acute Exposure – immediate reactions to pesticide exposure can include stinging eyes, nose and throat irritation, rashes or blisters on the skin, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and death.

Chronic Exposure – the effects of pesticide exposure over a longer period can include damage to the brain and nervous system, reproductive issues and birth defects, damage and disruption to the body’s organs and processes, and cancer.

Working in agriculture or living or working close to an active operation that uses pesticides increases your risk of toxic exposure. If you suspect toxic exposure you should seek medical attention. Recovery for toxic exposure can be based on different legal theories depending on the circumstances of your case. Pesticide use is heavily regulated and there is growing awareness of the dangers of even limited exposure. Helping to eliminate unnecessary exposure to poisonous toxins ultimately benefits everyone. Contact the Law Office of John B. Richards here for a free consultation to discuss your case with our Santa Barbara toxic exposure lawyer or call our office at 805-683-2736.


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