From the late 1800s to 1950, a pesticide called lead arsenate was used throughout Central Washington to control codling moth infestations on fruit trees. Over time, lead arsenate breaks down into lead and arsenic and these heavy metals settle into the topsoil. We've identified nearly 115,000 acres in Central Washington as historical orchard lands that might contain lead and arsenic.
Read our blog series about lead arsenate and its historic use on orchard lands in Central Washington. Ecology and the Legacy Pesticides Working Group have focused on addressing impacts of lead and arsenic in lands that are now being used for housing, schools, and businesses.
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