I. Restricted Spray Zones Around School Property
Pesticides move off the target site when they are sprayed, whether inside or outside. When sprayed outside pesticides drift on to nearby property resulting in off target residues. Buffer zones can eliminate exposure from spray drift on to school property. As a result, states require buffer zones around schools. In order to adequately protect against drift, buffer zones should, at a minimum, be established in a 2 mile radius around the school’s property. Aerial applications should have a larger buffer zone, at least 3 miles encircling the school. Buffer zones should be in effect at all times of the day. It is especially important for spray restrictions to be in place during commuting times and while students and employees are on school grounds.
The state of Indiana does not have any statewide requirements for restricted spray zones around school property.
II. Posting Notification Signs for Indoor Pesticide Applications
States use different approaches in providing school pesticide use information to parents, students and staff. Some forms include the posting of notification signs and/or the distribution of notices directly to the affected population. Posted notification signs warn those in the school when and where pesticides have been or are being applied. This is a vehicle for basic right-to-know if the posting occurs in an area where it is easily seen by parents, students and staff. It is important to post signs for indoor pesticide applications because of the extensive period of time students and school employees spend at school. Signs posted prior to commencement of the pesticide application, not after, are more protective. The prior notification system effectively enables people to take precautionary action. Because of the residues left behind after an application, signs should remain posted for at least 72 hours. It takes time for pesticides to start breaking down and some pesticide residues can least for weeks. Signs should also be posted at all main entrances of the building and the specific area sprayed, on the main bulletin board, and, for more comprehensive notification, in the school newspaper or on the daily announcements. Posted signs should state when and where a pesticide is applied, the name of the pesticide applied and how to get further information, such as a copy of the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the product(s) label.
The state of Indiana does not have any statewide requirements regarding the posting of notification signs for indoor pesticide use.
III. Posting Notification Signs for Outdoor Pesticide Applications
For a wider range of protection, states should require posting pesticide notification signs for outdoor pesticide applications as well. Students who play sports or people continually on the lawns represent a high risk when applications occur on school property. Dermal exposure can occur when a football player gets tackled, a soccer player slides to make a block or a student sits on the grass to eat lunch or watch a game. Inhalation exposure can occur when a player breathes in kicked up dust and dirt and pesticide residues. Even spectators at a game or passersby face inhalation exposure to pesticides that volatilize or vaporize off the treated area.
Indiana Administrative Code, section 1-5-1, requires licensed applicators for hire to post signs when applying a pesticide to a lawn. The signs are to remain posted until the following day.
IV. Prior Written Notification
Written notification of pesticide use is a good way to make sure that all parents, children and staff are aware and warned of pesticide use in the schools. Limited notification-based registries is a less effective means of notifying people and does not qualify as true right-to-know because of its limited scope. Requiring that individuals place themselves on registries, sometimes only with a doctor’s letter, afford only those who already know about toxic exposure the opportunity to be informed about pesticide use in the school. Prior notification should be 72 hours in advance to make sure the information has been received, to get further information regarding the pesticide and to make arrangements to avoid the exposure, if necessary. Notification should include the name of the pesticide(s), a summary of the adverse health effects listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and label, the day and time, and area of the application and how to obtain a copy of the MSDS and label.
The state of Indiana has no statewide law requiring prior notification of pesticide applications.
The Indiana Pesticide Review Board created a Pest Control Advisory Policy in March 2001 that encourages schools to voluntarily adopt the policy which includes a prior notification provision, if adopted by school districts. Parents shall be notified annually of the school's pest control policy. A registry shall be established for parents and staff who would like 48 hours advanced notice of the pesticide application. In an emergency, the school will give written notice "as soon as possible."
V. Prohibitions on Use
Limiting when and what pesticides are applied in and around schools is important to the reduction of pesticide exposure. Pesticides should never be applied when students or employees are in the area or may be in the area within 24 hours of the application. In reality, certain types of pesticides, such as carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, neurotoxins, persistent compounds and substances, bioaccumulative compounds and substances, toxicity category 1 acutely toxic pesticides and ground water contaminants should not be used around children.
Application area must remain unoccupied for 2 hours following applications made at day care centers.
VI. Integrated Pest Management
A good integrated pest management (IPM) program can eliminate the unnecessary application of synthetic, volatile pesticides in schools. The main elements of a good IPM program include: 1) monitoring to establish whether there is a pest problem, 2) identifying the causes of the pest problem, 3) addressing the cause by changing conditions to prevent problems, 4) utilizing pest suppression techniques, if necessary, that are based on mechanical and biological controls and 5) only after non-toxic alternatives have been tried and exhausted, use the least toxic pesticide. An IPM policy should include a written policy guide and a prohibited and acceptable materials list. Material that could be considered after using other methods include boric acid and disodium octoborate tetrahydrate, silica gels, diatomaceous earth, insect growth regulators, insect and rodent baits in tamper resistant containers or for crack and crevice placement only, microbe-based insecticides, botanical insecticides (not including synthetic pyrethriods) without toxic synergists, and biological (living) control agents.
The state of Indiana has no statewide law requiring schools to implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The Indiana Pesticide Review Board created a Pest Control Advisory Policy in March 2001 that encourages schools to voluntarily adopt IPM. Most schools have implemented the advisory policy with a few minor modifications. The policy calls for non-chemical methods of pest control to be used whenever possible. The least toxic pesticide will be used if it gives the same desired effect of a toxic pesticide. The Indiana Pesticide Review Board has also drafted model policies that encourage non-chemical methods: Model Pest Control Policy for Indiana Child Care Facilities and Model Pest Control in Indiana Schools Policy.
Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) has an exemplary school IPM program in place. MCCSC is featured in Beyond Pesticides report, Safer Schools: Achieving A Healthy Learning Environment Through Integrated Pest Management. A look at MCCSC's implementation strategies is documented in Structural IPM: Inspect, Detect, Correct. For more information see MCCSC's website at http://www.ipm.mccsc.edu.
Contact: The school Superintendent for information about the specifics of the school corporation's policy.
School corporations that have adopted the state's Advisory Pest Control Policy:
Blue River Valley
East Allen County
Eastern (Greene County)
Indianapolis Public Schools
Mount Vernon Community
North Judson-San Pierre
North West Hendricks
Northwest Allen County
Northwestern (Howard County)
Northwestern (Shelby County)
Penn Harris Madison
Rising Sun-Ohio County
Scott County Dist. 1
Scott County Dist. 2
Southeastern (Cass County)
Southwest Allen County
Southwestern (Jefferson County)
White River Valley
Whiting Whitley County
School corporations in the process of adopting the Advisory Pest Control Policy (as of December 2001):
Charles A. Beard
New Albany-Floyd County
Union County/College Corner
School corporations trained in IPM but have not adopted the Advisory Pest Control Policy:
North Spencer County
Perry Township-Marion County
School Corporations that have not adopted IPM:
New Durham Township
Improving Kids' Environment
5244 Carrollton Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220-3181
Phone: (317)-442-3973 or (317) 283-5648
Fax: (317) 283-6111
Email: [email protected]
Indiana Public Interest Research Group
IMU Room 470A
Bloomington, IN 47405
Email: [email protected]
Coordinator, IPM Technical Resource Center
Department of Entomology
1158 Smith Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1158
Email: [email protected]
For more information contact
Beyond Pesticides, 701 E Street, S.E., Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20003, [email protected]