(NaturalNews) Drift events are one of the most dangerous incidences regarding chemical exposure for people, occurring when the wind carries harmful toxicants long distances through the air, putting those caught in its path at risk.
For decades, residents living alongside the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon have been victims of drift events, causing both immediate and long-term health effects, with some even losing beloved pets to chemicals sprayed recklessly near their homes without warning.
Despite the dozens of complaints made over the years, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which are tasked with protecting the public, regularly ignored, dismissed or did not take seriously the resident’s concerns regarding drift events, even mishandling warranted investigations, reports Oregon Live.
In October 2013, 20 Curry County citizens reported being sprayed by a helicopter applying weedkiller to a clearcut next to their homes. The chemical exposure caused an infant to vomit afterwards for 24 hours straight, while others complained of stomach pain, rashes and bad headaches, all of which could’ve been avoided if state agencies had done their job.
Timber industry protected while Oregonians suffer from herbicide exposure
A state investigation resulted in a pilot (who had been implicated in two previous cases involving the same landowner, Crook Timberlands), losing his spraying license for a year and being fined $10,000.
Despite there being multiple complaints over a six-year period, none of them were “thoroughly investigated” by the Forestry or Agriculture Departments, according to an investigative report by Oregon Live.
By failing to act, both state agencies dropped the ball in terms of protecting other Oregonians from herbicide exposure, said Susan Brown, a Curry County commissioner, who said residents were treated “like they were rogue citizens.”
Brown agrees that complaints weren’t taken seriously when they should have been, and that the situation “was handled badly.”
Written by Julie Wilson
Read more at Natural News