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Daily News Archive
From September 22, 2005                                                                                                           

WHY AB 405..Students and Teachers are NOT Guinea Pigs
(Beyond Pesticides, September 22, 2005)

Currently California law allows pesticide products that do not have full registration and outstanding data requirements to be applied on school sites. In a press release from California Safe Schools it was reported this glaring oversight in the law might expose school children, teachers and other members of the public to unknown health risks.

Two important studies this summer confirm the need to act now to protect children now. The Journal of the American Medical Association in July published a study that documents student and school employee poisoning by pesticide use at schools (See Daily News). The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, also released striking new data showing widespread exposure to commonly used synthetic pyrethroid pesticide exposure, with residues carried by over 50 percent of the population (See Daily News).

Pesticides contain toxic substances, many of which have a detrimental effect on human health and the environment and, in particular, have a developmental effect on children. Children are more susceptible to hazardous impacts from pesticides than are adults. Currently threshold levels of pesticide exposure
and heath studies are based solely on an adult male of approximately 160 pounds.

Historically, pesticide products that have conditional registration or experimental use permits are sold and used for years without completing outstanding data requirements. This significant flaw can allow for chemicals
with incomplete testing to be used on school sites, increasing undue exposure potential to pupils.

According to California Safe Schools, Assembly Bill (AB) 405 would prohibit the use of experimental or new pesticides without full registration on school sites. Essentially, this bill would prevent school children and teachers from being exposed to experimental and/or insufficiently tested pesticide products. Additionally, AB 405 prohibits the use of pesticide products on school sites for which registration has been canceled, suspended, or marked for phase out of use. AB 405 will protect California public K-12 school children, teachers, school workers and community members from products whose full effects are unknown.

California Safe Schools is the sponsor of AB 405. For more information on AB 405 please contact Michael Mendez, Office of Assemblymember Montanez at (9160 319-2039 or Robina Suwol with California Safe Schools (Sponsor) at (818) 785-5515 or go to www.calisafe.org.