Pesticides and Basket Weavers, Gatherers, and Users
Broadly defined, a pesticide is a substance that is used to kill or control any pest. Pests can be insects, rodents, or birds, unwanted plants or weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses. Often, pesticides are used in areas where basketweavers collect their materials. For this reason, basket weavers and those who use baskets need to know about pesticide use because:
- Basket material gatherers and their companions can unknowingly be exposed to chemical pesticide residues.
- Preparing basket materials for weaving involves peeling the bark from the shoots or the roots with the teeth, increasing risk of ingestion.
- Weavers use their teeth as a third hand and chew the ends of sticks as they are added.
- Baskets are used for cooking, eating, wearing as caps, as baby carriers and rattles, and for ceremonial purposes. A basket should not be used for any of these purposes if it might have been made from plants bearing pesticide