02242017Headline:

Los Angeles, California

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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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California Schools Fail the Pesticide Test

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Schools get an F on pesticide use.
Parents, teachers and students must work to eliminate the highly dangerous presence of pesticides in our schools.

Throughout the country young children are being exposed to highly toxic pesticides in their schools. The use of dangerous chemicals contained in pesticides is a serious threat to our children’s health. The National Academy of Sciences has stated that children are highly susceptible to the effects of toxic chemicals. A child’s developing body is particularly vulnerable to chemicals due to tissue growth and organ development. In addition, children in close proximity to pesticides often receive higher exposures than adults because of their behavior; i.e. playing on the ground, touching surfaces and putting their hands in their mouths and eyes.

Unfortunately, California schools use large quantities of pesticides to kill weeds on athletic fields and destroy ants and other insects attracted to dropped food and trash. Many of the pesticides commonly used in schools have been linked to serious diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders.

California school districts should recognize the serious hazard pesticides pose for students and staff alike. It is time for schools to use less toxic methods to eliminate pests. Not only is the chemical free approach effective but usually found to be lower in cost than the use of pesticides. Parents must make themselves heard and demand safer alternative approaches than those currently used by California school administrations. A number of states are required to notify parents and staff before applying pesticides in schools. Although the state requires that farmers document their use of toxic pesticides there is no such requirement for schools.