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January 29, 1999 (Environmental News Service)

Pesticides used in California fields can cause smog in
agricultural regions of the state, according to a report released
recently by the Environmental Working Group and Californians for
Pesticide Reform. After application, pesticides give off large
quantities of reactive organic gases (ROGs), also known as
volatile organic compounds, which contribute to formation of smog
and which can also cause cancer, birth defects, nerve damage and
kidney and heart disease. Approximately 98.9 million pounds of
ROGs are emitted from pesticides each year in California - nearly
four times the total ROG emissions from petroleum refining, and
more than double the ROG emissions from all other industrial
sources. According to the Pesticide Action Network, for hours and
even days after application, pesticide formulations can evaporate
from the soil and vegetation, emitting more chemicals into the
air and possibly leading to continued exposure for farmworkers
and nearby residents.

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