Darryl Ivy

A citizens group in Lincoln County will gather signatures for a ballot measure to ban aerial spraying of pesticides. If it qualifies, the initiative would be on the May 2017 ballot.

Saving Bees Starts With Reading Product Labels

May 29, 2016

As spring gardening picks up in Oregon, state officials want to remind everyone to be mindful of bee populations. Homeowners can take simple steps to "bee" friendly to pollinators.

Warmer temperatures are arriving earlier this year, moving up the timetable for planting gardens and flowerbeds. The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants to remind gardeners and homeowners to be mindful of the products they use, as some are harmful to bees. Rose Kachadoorian is entomologist for the D.O.A.

Recorded on: Friday December 4th, 2015

Air Date: Monday December 7th, 2015

Seven times in the past two years, Oregon was the site of bee die-offs involving hundreds of thousands of bees. Each event was associated with the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Bees are vital to a functional ecosystem — and food production.

Darryl Ivy

An Oregon company that sprayed pesticides with a suspended license now faces 180 thousand dollars in fines and a five-year license suspension. It’s the largest penalty for an aerial pesticide sprayer in Oregon.

Lena Jackson

Lead and arsenic used decades ago in pesticides are still lingering in the topsoil of Pacific Northwest apple country. That poses a health risk for children who come in close contact with dirt -- in the backyards and playgrounds developed from former orchards.

Tony Schick / Earthfix

For decades, apple growers in Central Washington sprayed their trees with a misty brew of lead and arsenic to keep pests away. The practice stopped in the mid-20th century. Since then, many of those orchards have been redeveloped -- some as housing subdivisions, schools, and daycare centers. Even though the orchards are long gone, those toxic chemicals remain in the soil.

OPB News

Repeated high-profile incidents of people being sickened by pesticides sprayed from aircraft in Oregon have increased calls for new regulations. But push-back from agricultural and timber industry groups has led to a bill that supporters of stronger rules say won’t solve the problem.

Chafer Machinery

Few people come into contact with farm chemicals the way agricultural workers do. That's why a new health report on a commonly used herbicide is raising special concerns about farmworkers and cancer.

For years, researchers have seen glyphosate as one of the least harmful herbicides. It doesn’t cause very many acute poisonings. But now the World Health Organization has said there’s “limited evidence” long-term exposure can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma in people.

A bill introduced last week in Salem would give Oregonians and lawmakers more tools to regulate aerial spraying of chemical pesticides on private forest land.

Lisa Arkin is Executive Director of Beyond Toxics, based in Eugene. She says the bill, called the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, was inspired by cases in Triangle Lake and Curry County where residents believe they were poisoned by spraying of pesticides on nearby private forestland.