Last year when I became diagnosed with Reactive Airway Distress Syndrome (RADS) with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (an incurable illness) it was due in part to an extreme allergic reaction to what the crop dusters were spraying. I phoned every local, state and federal representative we have to complain. Here is what I found out.
Only one representative was kind enough to explain to me "off the record" that all our representatives know without a doubt that the pesticides sprayed in our fields either by ground or air, go directly into our lakes, streams and creeks and kill our fish. They also infiltrate our drinking water and are proven to cause cancers. Our representatives know this and yet nothing is being done to attempt to regulate the amounts of spraying or even to listen to citizen complaints. When I asked why, I was told "off the record" again by our legislative representative, "because crop dusters own this state."
At first I was stunned. Now I am ready to fight back.
Last year due to the right weather conditions, Iowa, was sprayed with 3 times as much pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides than any other year, making Iowa (in my opinion) a toxic waste dump. Those in charge would like us to believe no testing has been done to prove that pesticides, pesticide drift, or these processes cause harm to people. I say there is plenty of proof. The best comes from our own United States Government which decided:
"14 years after the end of operation Desert Storm a substantial proportion of Veterans continue to experience chronic often debilitating conditions characterized by persistent headache, cognitive problems, somatic pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal (GD) respiratory and skin problems. For 13 years these symptoms were classified as a form of PTSD. An advisory committee, the RACGWVI established by Congress in 1998, issued a report in 2004 recognizing Gulf War Syndrome. The report identified combinations of pesticides as well as other anti nerve agents as the cause of the illness."
If you would like more information on whether or not to be concerned about my belief that Iowan's are being made ill by unsupervised crop spraying, please Google the UK's Royal Commission on Enviromental Pollution: Crop Spraying and the Health of Residents and Bystanders.
If any of you would be interested in helping me advocate for change and more regulation of crop spraying, please write me your stories or concerns so I may gather them and attempt again to speak and share them with our elected officials. I am willing to do that work, but I need backing from other concerned citizens. If you would rather phone me, and leave your number to return a phone call that is fine too. I also need help getting petitions signed.
Please know we are being made sick by the lack of comprehensive and systemic review of pesticides spraying and human health, including taking an active role in listening to individuals and their personal health concerns. If you won't take a stand for yourself, please, do it for our children. I look forward to hearing from you.
Jamie Paige MSW
508 J Ave., Grundy Center, IA. 50638