Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the world. We’re all exposed to it, at some level.
But according to a new study, if you live in a poor rural community in California, you’re being exposed to more glyphosate than the average person.
“Lost in the Mist: How Glyphosate Use Disproportionately Threatens California’s Most Impoverished Counties,” a report just out from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Environmental Health, El Quinto Sol de America, Californians for Pesticide Reform, the Center for Food Safety and the Pesticide Action Network found that 54 percent of glyphosate spraying in California happens in eight counties whose populations are predominantly Hispanic or Latino.
In other words, glyphosate use in California is distributed unequally along both socioeconomic and racial lines. According to its authors, this new report aligns with another recent study by California EPA that found Hispanics and people in poverty disproportionately live in areas of high pesticide use, and a 2014 California Department of Public Health study showing that Hispanic children are 46 percent more likely than white children to attend schools near hazardous pesticide use. All of these findings bring awareness to the factors that perpetuate environmental injustice in our low-income and minority communities.
“We’ve uncovered a disturbing trend where poor and minority communities disproportionately live in regions where glyphosate is sprayed. In high doses glyphosate is dangerous to people, and California can’t, in good conscience, keep allowing these communities to pay the price for our overreliance on pesticides.”
- Nathan Donley, Ph.D., a staff scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity.