Construction crew sprayed with pesticide by helicopter in California

A still from a video shot by a construction worker of a helicopter spraying pesticide near a jobsite in Sacramento.A still from a video shot by a construction worker of a helicopter spraying pesticide near a jobsite in Sacramento.

A group of workers from a construction crew working near Sacramento, California, has come forward saying they are still dealing with sickness after being sprayed with pesticide by a helicopter.

According to a report from CBS Sacramento, the men, who asked to remain anonymous, are working on a levee near an orchard. In July they watched as a helicopter made pass after pass over the orchard, spraying pesticide while getting extremely close to the jobsite.

Some of the crew was sprayed with the pesticide and came down with chemical pneumonia. CBS Sacramento reports the workers have been in and out of the hospital and some “still experience headaches, migraines and use inhalers.”

One of the workers took a video of the helicopter and the company who owns it will likely face fines. But the men are just now going public because of a second spraying incident in September. This time it was a plane that was spraying, still flying close to the site and still without notifying the crew.

Sutter County Agriculture Commissioner Mark Quisenberry told CBS Sacramento that while the pilot of the helicopter was in error, the pilot of the plane was not since the liquid he was applying was not pesticide but a whitewash. He said the company applying the treatments to the orchard is now required to notify workers at the levee 48 hours before applying pesticide.

You can watch the CBS report by clicking here.