Drift and Florida Law Chapter 487 of the Florida Statutes: “It is unlawful for any person to apply a pesticide directly to, or in any manner cause any pesticide to drift onto, any person or area not intended to receive the pesticide.
Abridged from F. M. Fishel, Associate Professor; J. A. Ferrell, Associate Professor, Agronomy Department; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.
The drift of spray from pesticide applications can expose people, plants and animals, and the environment to pesticide residues that can cause health and environmental effects and property damage. Agricultural practices are poorly understood by the public, which causes anxiety and sometimes overreaction to a situation. Even the application of fertilizers or biological pesticides, like Bt or pheromones, can be perceived as a danger to the general public. Drift can lead to litigation, financially damaging court costs, and appeals to restrict or ban the use of crop protection materials. Urbanization has led to much of Florida’s agricultural production being in areas of close proximity to the general public, including residential subdivisions, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and schools. Such sensitive sites heighten the need for drift mitigation measures to be taken by applicators of pesticides, particularly in areas where children and the elderly are present. (more…)