Roses are very fragile flowers, susceptible to wilting and various pests and fungi. Growers therefore use a LOT of pesticides and fungicides. The Environmental Working Group estimates that roses reaching the United States carry 50 times the amount of chemical residue permitted for vegetable and fruit imports. Ecuador has a very strong rose business, and at least 14 fungicides, insecticides, nematicides and herbicides are used on average, often more than once. Many of the chemicals used are considered toxic and can leach into water supplies. The popular choice of methylbromide also has the capacity to destroy ozone. Because these chemicals are typically used in a greenhouse setting, they become concentrated there, and many workers have reported illnesses such as headaches and still births.
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