Wednesday, April 14, 2010
SCHOOL CHILDREN AT RISK
Tatib was recently contacted by some mothers, who have children at a Montessori School situated on a wine farm in Durbanville. It has been alleged that some of the children, including a teacher, have fallen ill as a result of the products sprayed on the vineyards adjacent to the school. It has been confirmed by the school that spray drift is indeed a problem and that the children are brought indoors during the spraying. The problem with this, is that once the children go out to play after the spraying as been completed, they will come into contact with the potentially toxic residues of what was sprayed. Many pesticides remain active (on surfaces) for days and weeks. Its been well documented, that children are more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides They eat and drink more per Kg of body weight, have higher metabolisms, their skin is more permeable and their livers do not excrete as efficiently as adults. Their hand-to-mouth behaviour increases the chance of ingestion and their dermal contact is increased because of a proportionally larger skin surface, and because they play on the ground outdoors. Recently another Montessori School opened on the grounds of a prominent farm in Somerset West. The Lourens River runs through this farm, and a study undertaken by The University of Stellenbosch and a German University, indicated high levels of 3 organophosphates (nerve toxins) found in this river. Tatib requested a spray list from both farms on which the two Montessori Schools are situated and in this regard the following products have been sprayed : Folpan, Sovrin Flo, Topaz, Mamba, Spiral, Thiovit, Korog, Legend, Hygrobuff, Dithane, Rootmaster, Prosper, Phopshite, Acarol, Goemar, Switch, Nufilm, Misaxinal, Tokuthion, Citrole , Budbreak, Dormex, Chlorpyriphos, Judo, Bumper, Solubor, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Oxide, Azinophos Methyl, Cypermethrin, Indar, Roval Flo, Zinc Max, Score, Bulldock, Kaptan Flo, Fundazol, Cascade, C.O.C , Chorus, Nimrod, Stroby, Goldenthin, Promalin, Sevin, Nustar,Cascade, Caltrac, Altacor, Penncap M, Droper, Calypso, Calcium Nitrate & Runner. There are few organophosphate "nerve toxins" on the list - one of which has been banned for residential use in South Africa due to the fact that it is so highly toxic. These are certainly not pesticides that should be sprayed anywhere near children. Clearly the current locations of the schools is the problem - they should not be anywhere near a working farm where agricultural chemicals are sprayed. These are private schools for affluent people . What about those other rural farm schools, in poorer communities - where the kids are the farm workers go. How are they going to be protected?