Jan Gumbel videotaped farmers spraying herbicides and fungicides in high winds. He fears it poses a health risk to birds, his dog and himself. Gumbel uses his home's open space to every extent, from playing with his dog Sammie to bird watching.
However, Gumbel says the hummingbirds are missing and four swallows ended up dead.He believes recent chemical spraying on the corn fields surrounding his home has something to do with it. " I'm seeing big rig sprayer coming up and sprayers in the wind, and they don't have hoods on them, so the spray gets on them, and it on my property."
Gumbel videotaped two different days in June and in July. The first he claims is herbicide spraying, the other, just last week used the fungicide Headline.
Chemical expert Blake Miller works with Illini FS in Urbana. He is not linked with the spraying but says if used properly, Headline is safe. " You would have to ingest it as a human to be dangerous, even if you breath it, nothing? Nothing."
Miller says that even means in windy conditions." You won't be able to get an acute level of the compund at that rate."
Regardless, Gumbel is certain the recent spraying has hurt his trees and the animals and fears what it has done to him. " Everybody watches for each other, but I shouldn't have to watch to guard my property out here, the nature out here."
The expert says if the fungicide was mixed with insecticides then it can pose a risk. Gumbel is filing a complaint with the Department of Agriculture.