Syngenta pesticide incident

KEKAHA — Another pesticide exposure claim is being investigated at Syngenta’s Kauai location after an incident earlier this month sent a worker to the hospital.

The worker returned to his duties the day after the Jan. 12 incident when a pair of van drivers allegedly stopped near a field where pesticides were being applied. Workers in the vans were allegedly exposed to pesticide drift when the drivers rolled the windows down to talk to each other.

“Syngenta is aware of one contract worker’s claim and is looking into the matter,” said Paul Minehart, spokesman for Syngenta.

Minehart didn’t comment further on the incident, but he said the state’s Department of Agriculture and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have launched investigations.

Dean Higuchi, Hawaii spokesman for EPA, confirmed the entities are investigating, but declined further comment.

Meanwhile, Syngenta is in litigation with EPA, which is suing the agrochemical company for more than $4.8 million. The suit stems from a January 2016 incident when 10 workers at the Kauai location entered a field recently sprayed with the restricted-use pesticide chlorpyrifos.

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