This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In "Utah pesticide use not dangerous" (Opinion, May 11), Leonard Blackham, Utah's state commissioner of agriculture and food, wrote about "safe, regulated pesticides."
Our family's home was a neighbor to one of these "safe, regulated" businesses. "Safe" chemicals were stored in a "safe," unmarked, unlocked, propped-open shed. What didn't fit inside was "safely" left sitting outside. It was common practice for employees to empty and rinse tanks into the ground.
We kept our windows shut because of the strong smells. Our son and other family members became very ill. To save our family's health, we had to walk away from our home and have spent thousands of dollars on medical bills.
As a soil sample was taken by a compliant specialist of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, he smelled it and told me, "There are residuals in it. I can smell them." When I called to get test results, I was told they'd decided not to test it! "What good would it do? Then what?"
We recently met with Blackham and were told that UDAF is only in charge of licensing and training. So who's regulating these dangerous chemicals if not UDAF?
Don't be fooled. Irresponsible pesticide use is not "safe" or "regulated" in Utah.