Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) helps educate pesticide users on how to avoid direct drift and volatilization (sometimes referred to as vapor drift). Depending on the product and the severity, drift can cause the following:
- Crop damage or illegal pesticide residues on or in non-target crops
- A reduction in pollinator health
- Contamination of surface water
- Impacted human health
ODA also reviews with applicators pesticide label language, which is designed to minimize drift. Pesticide users are informed of their legal responsibilities to follow the label language and the provisions in the Oregon Pesticide Control Law (ORS 634).
If warranted, ODA responds to and investigates complaints of drift. For information about investigations, see ODA's investigation and enforcement brochure in English or Spanish (Investigación y cumplimiento de pesticidas). If violations of ORS 634 are identified, ODA takes appropriate enforcement action.
What is pesticide drift?
Pesticide drift is the physical movement of a pesticide through the air at the time of application or soon thereafter from the target site to any non- or off-target site. Drift is dependent on the design of application equipment, size of spray droplets or dry particles, weather conditions, and other factors.
What is volatilization or vapor drift?
Volatilization of a pesticide is the physical movement—after a pesticide has been applied—of the pesticide vapor through the air from the intended site to any off-target site. Volatilization is dependent on a number of physical and chemical properties, weather conditions, and other factors.