By Mindy MacLaren
After my own experience with multiple exposures to agricultural pesticides a decade ago, and the resulting awareness of actually how UN-aware we are as a society to what pesticides truly are (chemicals designed to kill), I’ve become vigilant in my stance against their use, especially in areas that are frequented by people; children in particular. So oblivious are we to the effects of these poisons that they are used in various public spaces, the most ironic of which are medical campuses- where health is supposed to be the point- and cemeteries (what’s the point?). I try, whenever possible, to help others understand that these poisons and their effects should be taken seriously. So it was that, on October 10, I happened to be driving by the Penfield Little League fields on Atlantic Avenue, when I noticed multiple yellow flags that indicated pesticides had recently been sprayed there. I pulled over to take some pictures, posted below, which I’ve edited with a red dot at the location of each yellow flag. A bit overkill, don’t you think? Especially since it’s children who play on these fields and on the adjacent playground; children are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of these toxins, especially with repeated exposure. Read more here.
I posted the pictures on my Facebook page and soon after got a message from Carol Chittenden of the Empire State Consumer Project (ESCP) who offered to reach out to the town to learn more about this situation and to make those in charge aware of the issue. ESCP describes their mission as: “…founded in 1971, is a registered 501c3 Not-for-Profit Organization dedicated to reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals toxic to human and environmental health. We accomplish this by educating consumers and industry, conducting product testing and reporting, and by advocating for regulation where needed to protect the public interest.” On October 25, Carol wrote the following letter to the Penfield Town Board: