Lena Jackson

Lead and arsenic used decades ago in pesticides are still lingering in the topsoil of Pacific Northwest apple country. That poses a health risk for children who come in close contact with dirt -- in the backyards and playgrounds developed from former orchards.

Flickr user Jetsandzeppelis

Pesticides are often sprayed on Northwest crops like apples, grapes and cherries. And those toxic chemicals can pose major health risks to people who work in the fields. The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Monday to protect farm workers from pesticides.

Sueann Ramella / Northwest Public Radio

It was a little too hot to weed in the garden this week which may have you frustrated because you know how fast they can grow. Believe it or not, some serve a purpose besides breaking your back. Have you ever noticed that weeds take over bare spots? This is Mother Nature’s way of saving the valuable topsoil from eroding or blowing away. Weeds with deep taproots break up hard soil so other plants can reach water. But let’s face it, some weeds need to go and you have lots of herbicides to choose from. 

Masaaki Tsuyuguchi / Flickr

Shellfish growers in Washington’s Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay are canceling plans to spray their shellfish beds with pesticides. The state granted the growers the permits to spray last month, prompting a public outcry.

Binsar Bakkara / Associated Press

An international report on the health risks of a commonly used herbicide is raising special concerns about farmworkers and cancer.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup. A study by the World Health Organization has found limited evidence that glyphosate is probably capable of causing cancer in humans.

Chuck Benbrook studies pesticides at Washington State University. He said the new report could be bad news for farmworkers.

AP Images


Forest owners in the Northwest use helicopters to spray weed killer after logging. It is an effective way to kill plants like blackberry and alder that compete with the next crop of tree seedlings. But it is controversial.

Last year people near the coastal Oregon city of Gold Beach claimed they were poisoned. State officials and timber lobbyists blamed that incident on mistakes by the pilot. But sometimes, communities report drift even when timber companies appear to be following the rules.

Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

A group of Southern Oregon residents who complained pesticide spraying made them sick has now filed a lawsuit in Curry County circuit court. For EarthFix, Tony Schick reports.

Jessica Paterson / Flickr

This week, Oregon may join Washington in backing away from a proposal to protect bees by restricting certain pesticides. An Oregon legislative panel is set to amend a measure Tuesday that would instead create a task force to study the possibility of future restrictions.

Penalties In For Wilsonville Bee Deaths

Dec 20, 2013
Andreas. / Flickr

Penalties are in for a company implicated in the deaths of bumblebees in Oregon earlier this year. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has issued civil penalties to the pesticide company and its employees.

Jon Sullivan / Wikimedia Commons

The restrictions apply to the pesticide ingredients dinotefuran and imidacloprid. Officials say they believe those ingredients killed more than 50,000 bumble bees earlier this year when they were sprayed on trees that have their own natural toxicity.