Michelle Schumacher 0

Make Talega's common ways & parks pesticide and herbicide free zones!

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We are very concerned about the pesticides and herbicides being sprayed by the landscape company on a regular basis in our common landscaped areas and parks here in Talega. I asked one man what he was spraying and he told me the product was Roundup. I am not sure if you are aware of the international concern for Roundup weed and grass control and the other pesticides and herbicides being used regularly, but they have been receiving much attention over the last few years. The use of the pesticides and herbicides are being linked to many diseases from cancer, lymphoma, Alzheimer's and Autism just to name a few, and none are good or supportive of the healthy lifestyle we expect here in Talega.

I am very concerned that my family and our pets are at risk for exposure to these toxins on a regular basis since they are being sprayed so frequently in Talega’s common areas. It makes sense as clearly we DO NOT want to be playing and walking through chemically treated areas with harmful toxins designed to kill with our families, children and pets.

In our home we take a few moments and pull out the pesky weeds. It seems that with the large landscape team that is in place this is not an outrageous request to do the manual pulling of weeds, and there are many landscape companies that do this in a responsible manner while maintaining common areas without the crutch of poisonous chemicals. Clearly spraying these toxins designed to kill where we live in the common areas is not a safe way to conduct the landscaping and maintenance of this beautiful community. It is not good for the landscape, the wildlife, or the residents.

Additionally, the areas they spray with the chemicals kills the plants and they turn brown and have dead areas (these are the same plants that we have paid for to make it pretty in the common areas don't last long after the spraying – please let me know if you would like me to send you photos of the dead areas where spraying has been done, as I would be happy to send photos). Clearly what they are doing by not removing the weeds is killing not only the plants, but also killing the soil and leaving a chemical residue behind that can be breathed in, touched, walked and rolled in by the kids and pets alike, while we enjoy our community. Additionally, when it rains these toxic chemicals go directly into the storm drains and wreck havoc on the marine life. I am not sure if you are aware but these chemicals have been directly linked to the bee and butterfly die off. Both populations have declined 90% in the last 6 years due to the use of these chemicals. I spoke with the head bee keeper at Monsanto last month and he said that the HOA’s are the biggest use of these harmful chemicals killing everything off-- second to golf courses---even more so than the mono crops that are pesticide and herbicide horror shows.

I am respectfully asking for a vote by the residents in Talega to change the reliance on harmful pesticides and herbicides and have the gardeners for the community pull out the weeds instead of poisoning our community and putting our families, children and pets in harms way. I would like a vote of the community specifically to have our common areas be pesticide and herbicide free zones, unless our Talega Maintenance Board is willing to do the right thing without having to seek a vote of the homeowners.

It is irresponsible to continue to use toxins in a place where families come to live and raise their children. Knowing that the risk of these harmful pesticides and herbicides are proving to be great and not even fully understood the damage they are doing to humans, animals and the environment.

I have included a bit from the recent coverage from the World Health Organization discussing how Roundup andglyphosate are linked to lymphoma. There are manyother studies that have come to the same alarming conclusions worldwide, which is a very sad state of affairs. Please keep in mind this chemical company that sells Roundup is the maker of Agent Orange and DDT and has historically peddled products that proved to be seriously unsafe and ultimately removed from the consumers reach (I have outlined a few below in blue).

I am alarmed by the incidents of cancer and terrible disease in Talega that we are seeing in friends in the community – debilitating health issues for the ones alive and many that are dying way too young and leaving beautiful children behind. I think it is imperative that based on the chemicals being used in the common areas and the history that the company has with the health safety records that a vote of the residents for a pesticide and herbicide free common space must happen as soon as possible.

The City of San Diego is currently suing Monsanto the maker of Roundup for the contamination of the San Diego Bay for the PCB’s that we all know had a major role in disrupting the ozone years ago – that Monsanto up until the end said was safe.

Monsanto the maker of Roundup has made the following:

DDT Made by the same people who make Roundup - What is it? DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was a commonly used pesticide designed to combat malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Monsanto just happened to be one of the first manufacturers of the insecticide that would fall under heavy scrutiny.

Why is it bad?Banned in 1972, DDT has been linked to damaging the liver, reducing reproductive success and temporary damages to the nervous system amongst others.

Where is it being used? Unfortunately DDT can often take more than 15 years to break down and is still being found in some soils and many waterways. Our exposure to it would more than likely come through consuming contaminated fish, crops, or through atmospheric deposition. (6)

RoundUp What is it? RoundUp herbicide, also known as Glyphosate (a major component of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide) is the most widely used herbicide around the world. (10) It was in 1970 that Monsanto founded their agricultural chemicals division with RoundUp being their prized herbicide.

Why is it bad? Glyphosate has been linked to cancer in several studies due to its properties as a potential endocrine disruptor -chemicals that can interfere with the hormonal system of mammals. These disruptors can cause development disorders, birth defects and cancerous tumors.

Where is it being used? RoundUp is approved and still widely used today to destroy and control weeds. It can be found in our groundwater, soil, streams and even in the air.


Petroleum-Based Fertilizers - What is it? As the name suggests, petroleum-based fertilizers are a type of material applied to soils or plant tissues to aid in their development. Monsanto got themselves involved in 1955 after purchasing a major oil refinery.

Why is it bad? Petroleum-based fertilizers have been known to destroy beneficial soil micro-organisms. This destruction eventually sterilizes the soil making it fully dependent on an external stimulant to produce.

Where is it being used? – In farms across the globe since they are noted to give farmers a greater degree of control of what they grow and how it turns out.


PCB’s What is it? PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) belong to a family of manmade organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons.

They were first used by Monsanto in the 1920’s to produce coolant fluids for widely used electric transformers, capacitors and electric motors. They were domestically manufactured from 1929 to 1979 at which point they were banned.

Why is it bad? PCB’s have been linked to causing cancer as well as contributing to a number of adverse health effects on the human immune systems, reproductive systems, nervous systems and endocrine systems.

Where is it being used?- Banned since 1979, PCB’s are no longer being used, but their damage continues to persist as a 2011 study showed that it is still being found in the blood of pregnant women. Prior to the ban PCB’s were found in widely used items such as, but not limited to: cable insulation, caulking, plastics, adhesives and oil-based paints.


Please find below the information from the World Health Organization study released this past week regarding Roundup and other pesticides and herbicides commonly used.

The Most Widely Used Herbicide in the United States Could Cause Cancer in Humans, says a World Health Organization Studywhich states that Roundup, produced by the US-based agrochemical behemoth Monsanto, is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world and is doused on millions of acres of crops and landscaped areas each year in the United States.

But anew study of its main ingredient, glyphosate, has called this conclusion into question and renewed calls by public health and environmental advocacy organizations to ban the chemical.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) convened 17 scientists from 11 countries to evaluate existing science on five pesticides, including glyphosate, which was first developed by Monsanto in1969. Laboratory studies showed an increase in some cancers, including rare cancers of the arteries and livers, in lab mice exposed to glyphosate. The lab animals were exposed to higher levels of the herbicide than what humans could encounter. But epidemiological studies of humans also showed a cancer risk, linking exposure to the chemical with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

That led the group to declare glyphosate "probably carcinogenic," the second-highest designation given out by IARCbehind "carcinogenic to humans."

The report, published Friday in the journal The Lancet Oncology, summarizes findings that will be released in detail in a comprehensive IARC report expected in about a year.

In the United States, the EPA is responsible for establishing levels of chemical use that are safe for both human health and the environment. The agency is currently in the midst of reassessing glyphosate, as part of a federally mandated evaluation that occurs every 15 years. In the 1980s, the EPA classified the chemical as a possible human carcinogen.

Glyphosate is used in more than 750 products worldwide, according to the IARC report. Its use has grown worldwide as companies like Monsanto create genetically modified crops that are resistant to the herbicide. In this way, farmers can spray their fields with the chemical, killing unwanted weeds while remaining benign to Roundup ready corn, soy, wheat, or cotton. One hundred and fifty-seven millionacres of corn and soybean crops in the United States were treated with glyphosate in 2013 — a nine-fold increase in less than a decade. It is also used in gardens and landscaped areas across the US.

Runoff from crops treated with glyphosate can end up in drinking water supplies. At high levels of exposure over long periods of time, it may cause kidney or reproductive issues, according to the EPA.

Additionally, below is a link to the lawsuit in San Diego where Monsanto the maker of all of these banned substances is being sued for damage done to the bay years ago. I don't think given this Companies track record that we should be spraying what is turning out to be a illness and disease making machine for humans anywhere near Talega.


Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Again, I would like the community of Talega to vote on if, based on the known facts, the common areas should be pesticide and herbicide free zones.

Respectfully submitted as a concerned resident/homeowner,

William & Michelle Schumacher

18 Paseo Canos

San Clemente, CA 92673



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