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Homeowner outraged after HOA-hired landscaping company coats car in toxic spray: 'Non-target drift is illegal'

"If someone is hurt it might even be a felony."

"If someone is hurt it might even be a felony."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner shared their outrage after catching an HOA-hired landscaping company spraying pesticides all over their property.

In a Reddit post, the homeowner describes how their HOA hired True Green to treat trees in their neighborhood.

But rather than target the tree directly with pesticides, True Green's contractor was seen on the homeowner's surveillance camera spraying over their wife's truck. 

All this spraying left a fine layer of chemicals on the vehicle, which the wife mistook for dew when she got in shortly afterward with the couple's 7-month-old child.

"I'm 100% sure she touched all the residue from these pesticides and definitely touched our son with her hands," the Redditor wrote in the r/lawncare subreddit.

Whether that exposure to pesticides will have lasting effects for mother and child depends on which pesticide was used. 

The Environmental Protection Agency says that high levels of a low-toxicity pesticide will have minimal effects on humans. But low levels of a high-toxicity chemical could pose a risk.

Pesticide exposure has been linked to Parkinson's disease, asthma, and some cancers, including leukemia. Some pesticides are carcinogens, which can disrupt the hormonal or endocrine system.

With such indiscriminate spraying, there's a high likelihood that pesticides would have landed in the homeowner's garden, leaching into the soil and contaminating local groundwater.

According to Pesticide Action Network UK, pesticides often reach a destination other than their target pest. 

They can be found in lakes, rivers, rain, and groundwater because of runoff or accidental drift.

If pesticides end up in the soil, they can decrease its biodiversity. They may also limit plants' nitrogen fixation, which hinders crop yield.

This is compounded by pesticides' harmful effects on pollinating insects. The decline of bees and butterflies across the globe has been linked to the use of pesticides on farmland and gardens.

Three-quarters of crops rely on pollinators to grow, research indicates, with their declining populations already cutting fruit and vegetable yields by between 3% and 5%, according to the Guardian. 

This isn't the first time that an HOA's actions have clashed with the environment. Other HOA residents have reported not being permitted to install solar panels, bans on composting, and culled neighborhood trees.

But some residents have taken on their HOAs and won, successfully changing their HOA bylaws in the process. 

In the meantime, Redditors have advised that this particular homeowner may have a legitimate claim against True Green. 

"Non-target drift is illegal in most (if not all) states," one advised. "I'd reach out to the local TG office with the video asap and make them come up with a solution/apology before you decide to take it higher."

"Some states it's at least a [misdemeanor]," another agreed. "If someone is hurt it might even be a felony."

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