Assess farmworkers’ pesticide exposure

March 2007

The Honorable Christine Gregoire,
Governor of Washington

Honorable Members of the Washington State
House of Representatives and Senate

Dear Governor Gregoire and State Legislators:

We are concerned about exposures to agricultural pesticides experienced by farm workers, their children and others in agricultural areas. Please act to address this problem by supporting the following two measures.

First, please support the establishment of a governmental system of air monitors in agricultural areas to measure concentrations of agricultural pesticides in the air at homes, workplaces, day-cares, schools and other locations. Air monitoring provides information that people have a right to know. It facilitates informed discussions and decision-making, and provides data that scientists can use to study health effect trends.

Second, please support an Alternatives Assessment at the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Assessment should review existing alternatives to the agricultural pesticides that pose the greatest threats to health, and the status of research towards new alternatives. It should identify barriers that prevent growers from using alternatives, and policies and programs that could facilitate transitions to sustainable agriculture. We need to have an informed public discussion about how to protect both health and agriculture by reducing reliance on the most dangerous pesticides. An Alternatives Assessment will jumpstart that discussion.

We look forward to your leadership on these important issues.


Carol Dansereau
Farm Worker Pesticide Project
NB 3, 5031 University Way, N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105

PCC Natural Markets, Seattle
4201 Roosevelt Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98020

Charles Hasse, President
Washington Education Association
P.O. Box 9100
Federal Way, WA 98063

Erik Nicholson
Pacific Northwest Regional Director
United Farm Workers
P.O. Box 8337
Tacoma, WA 98418

Louise Ryan
Washington State Long Term Care Ombudsman
Multi-Service Center, 1200 South 336th St.
P.O.Box 23699
Federal Way, WA 98093

Columbia Legal Services
Client representatives
711 Capitol Way, S., #304
Olympia, WA 98501

Jeff Johnson
Organizing and Research Director
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
906 S. Columbia, Rm. 330
Olympia, WA 98501

Gregg Small
Washington Toxics Coalition
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103

Yvonne Lopez-Morton
12015 S. Player Drive
Spokane, WA 99223

Rafael Ojeda
Pierce County Executive Committee
Minority Outreach Chair
11021 107th St. S.W.
Tacoma, WA 98498-1405

Raymundo Olivas, CEO
Multiservicios, Inc.
9011 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98108

Related reading

Perfluorinated additives in food packaging

Testimony to Washington House Environment Committee on PFOAs in food contact packaging

PCC opposes the Bayer-Monsanto merger

Sent letter to legislators opposing the merger of the agrichemical giants Bayer and Monsanto