A new report shows 449 elementary schools in Washington state are near fields where pesticides may be sprayed, then drift. And several of those schools are in North Central Washington.
The report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 4,028 elementary schools nationwide are located within 200 feet of a crop field where pesticides could be used.
A look at the EWG's map shows Manson Elementary, as well as Pateros Elementary, Brewster Elementary, Bridgeport Elementary, Methow Valley Elementary, Waterville Elementary and two elementary schools in Entiat are within a quarter mile of a crop field. None of this should come as a surprise, since this area is largely agricultural.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, illnesses at schools from exposure to pesticide drift from neighboring farmlands have occurred.
Illnesses or injuries related to pesticide exposure depend on the chemical class of the pesticide, but symptoms include: upset stomach, skin or eye irritation, respiratory failure, kidney damage, and even death.
Studies also indicate other long-term dangers to pesticide exposure: cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, and impacts to the development of children.