Turtle Mountain family says crop dusting spray made them ill

A woman in the Turtle Mountain area in southwestern Manitoba says a chemical sprayed from a crop dusting plane on a nearby field has made her family and neighbours sick.

Woman says she had allergic reaction to pesticide sprayed on canola field

Marie Denbow of Turtle Mountain, Man., took this photograph of a crop duster flying over a field near her home last month. She says the chemical that was sprayed on the field made her, members of her family and their neighbours ill. (Submitted by Marie Denbow)

A woman in the Turtle Mountain area in southwestern Manitoba says a chemical sprayed from a crop dusting plane on a nearby field has made her family and neighbours sick.

Marie Denbow said she and members of her family were ill for days after a crop duster sprayed a pesticide, used to control insects on canola, on a neighbouring field in mid-August.

Winds of up to 40 kilometres an hour caused the chemicals to drift, Denbow said.

"My hair was matted. I had it on my skin, I had it in my mouth. You could taste it. You could smell it," she told CBC News on Thursday.

Marie Denbow says she had sore eyes, a sore throat, nose bleeds and other symptoms after the crop duster flew near her home last month. (Submitted by Marie Denbow)

"Every time they've sprayed, we've been able to taste it and smell it — in the house."

Denbow said she experienced a number of symptoms, including diarrhea, a burning sensation on her skin, nose bleeds, sore throat and sore eyes.

She said she had to get medication for what her doctor called an allergic reaction, and she still feels unwell today.

Denbow's young granddaughter also didn't feel well, and numerous neighbours reported experiencing similar symptoms, she said.

The farmer who hired the crop duster has apologized to Denbow and her neighbours.

Denbow said people need to be given more notice when crop dusters are spraying near their homes.

Her family was notified on the morning that the spraying took place, so they left for the day. But the crop duster flew over the field again that evening and the next day — when they were home — without further notice, she said.

"It's our health that's being affected. Our kids, our pets. This chemical that they're spraying is very dangerous," she said.

Manitoba Agriculture and the company that conducted the crop dusting have not responded to CBC News' requests for comment.

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