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18
Apr

Oregon Bill Introduced To Protect Students With School Buffer Zones

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2007) Two members of Oregon’s Congress have sponsored bills that, if passed, would provide schools with a no-spray buffer zone during the academic year. Among other requirements, the bills would establish separate buffers around schools for aerial spraying, backpack pesticide applications, and additional buffers around roads servicing schools during commuting hours.

Senate Bill 20 (SB 20) and House Bill 2978 are sponsored by State Senator Vicki Walker, D-Eugene, and Representative Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, respectively. SB 20, the stronger of the two bills, is currently the focus of media and organizers on both sides. It is currently being reviewed by the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, which will determine whether it should be introduced to the entire Senate.

The two bills come after a Merck Foundation-funded study by Oregon Toxics Alliance and Forestland Dwellers to map pesticide applications near schools in Lane County. The study found some schools were near areas treated with aerial applications and a logging area sprayed adjacent to athletic fields. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has reported drift incidents at schools causing illness and at least one school closure (as has happened in other states). The proposed buffer zones, according to Lisa Arkin, executive director of Oregon Toxics Alliance (OTA), will reduce children’s health risks. “Secondhand pesticide exposures occur not only from direct particle fallout, but also from volatilization and revaporization, factors that can extend the exposure period from two to 10 days,” she wrote for the Eugene Register Guard.

This focus on spraying near schools, Ms. Arkin continued, is because “Children are more vulnerable to chemical insults because their organs and immune and nervous systems are still maturing, and their ability to metabolize and excrete harmful chemicals inhaled or absorbed through their skin is not yet developed.” A number of recent studies have linked areas of high pesticide drift, including areas treated with common herbicides like 2,4-D, to increased incidence of cancer.

Opponents of SB 20 claim that it will “wreak havoc on the agricultural industry” by forcing property owners “through a series of bureaucratic hoops to apply sprays within five miles of school facilities.” Terry Witt, executive director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter, claims it is “basically a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.” However, if SB 20 passes, Oregon will join a number of other states with no-spray zones around schools, such as Massachusetts, Louisiana, New Jersey, and North Carolina. For more information on OTA’s campaign to protect children from pesticide drift, click here.

Sources: Hood River News, Eugene Register Guard (via OTA), Eugene Register Guard Op-Ed (via OTA)

TAKE ACTION: If you live within the district of one of the Committee members, contact your representative and urge him to support SB 20. OTA also provides a list of Representatives who should hear from their constituents here, along with sample letters and talking points.

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One Response to “Oregon Bill Introduced To Protect Students With School Buffer Zones”

  1. 1
    Stephen Tvedten Says:

    How to kill pests without killing yourself or the earth……

    There are about 50 to 60 million insect species on earth – we have named only about 1 million and there are only about 1 thousand pest species – already over 50% of these thousand pests are already resistant to our volatile, dangerous, synthetic pesticide POISONS. We accidentally lose about 25,000 to 100,000 species of insects, plants and animals every year due to “man’s footprint”. But, after poisoning the entire world and contaminating every living thing for over 60 years with these dangerous and ineffective pesticide POISONS we have not even controlled much less eliminated even one pest species and every year we use/misuse more and more pesticide POISONS to try to “keep up”! Even with all of this expensive pollution – we lose more and more crops and lives to these thousand pests every year.

    We are losing the war against these thousand pests mainly because we insist on using only synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers There has been a severe “knowledge drought” – a worldwide decline in agricultural R&D, especially in production research and safe, more effective pest control since the advent of synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers. Today we are like lemmings running to the sea insisting that is the “right way”. The greatest challenge facing humanity this century is the necessity for us to double our global food production with less land, less water, less nutrients, less science, frequent droughts, more and more contamination and ever-increasing pest damage.

    National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24,2007 was created to highlight the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent it. One study shows that about 70,000 children in the USA were involved in common household pesticide-related (acute) poisonings or exposures in 2004. It is estimated that 300,000 farm workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning each year in the United States – No one is checking chronic contamination.

    In order to try to help “stem the tide”, I have just finished re-writing my IPM encyclopedia entitled: THE BEST CONTROL II, that contains over 2,800 safe and far more effective alternatives to pesticide POISONS. This latest copyrighted work is about 1,800 pages in length and is now being updated chapter by chapter at my new website at http://www.stephentvedten.com/ .

    This new website at http://www.stephentvedten.com/ has all of my original IPM encyclopedia in its original form and will continue to have more and more free, updated Chapters every week. So far we have electronically updated The Introduction, Chapters 11, 15 through 36 and the Glossary of Terms. All of these copyrighted items are free for you to read and/or download. There is simply no need to POISON yourself or your family or to have any pest problems.

    Stephen L. Tvedten
    2530 Hayes Street Marne, Michigan 49435
    1-616-677-1261

    “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” –Victor Hugo

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