The latest air monitoring results released by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) show that, for the second year in a row, all of the pesticides monitored were found below levels that indicate a health concern or need for further evaluation.
“Air monitoring is an important tool used to ensure that the California’s vigorous pesticide regulatory program is working to protect human health as legal pesticides are applied to produce food and fiber”, said Brian Leahy, Director of DPR.
Highlights of the 2016 draft air monitoring report shows that of the 37 chemicals (32 pesticides and five breakdown products) that are monitored:
- 12 were not be detected at all
- 14 were only detected at trace levels and 11 were detected at quantifiable levels
- Of the 5,928 analyses conducted, 91.0% had no detectable concentrations
California is the only state that monitors air as part of its continuous reevaluation of pesticides to ensure the protection of workers, public health, and the environment. The pesticides monitored were selected based primarily on potential risk to human health. They include all the major fumigants and many organophosphates.
As part of the air monitoring network, DPR monitors and analyzes pesticides in three communities: Salinas (Monterey County), Shafter (Kern County) and Ripon (San Joaquin County).
Additionally, the Air Resources Board, at DPR’s request, monitors for three fumigant pesticides in three other communities: Ventura, Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County) and Watsonville (Santa Cruz County).
The air-monitoring network, the first of its kind in the nation, was created in 2011 to expand DPR’s knowledge of long-term exposure to pesticides. The data from the network helps DPR determine if additional protective measures are needed.
As announced in January 2017, DPR has expanded the air-monitoring network in order to obtain more data from more locations. All eight locations will monitor 31 pesticides and five pesticide breakdown products at all sites for two more years. At the end of this period, DPR will evaluate and determine the need and scope for the air-monitoring network.