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California



STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW


I. Restricted Spray Zones Around School Property

Overview

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.

State Information

Methyl bromide application, schools within 300 feet, completed 36 hours prior to start of school day.

II. Posting Notification Signs for Indoor Pesticide Applications

Overview

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.

State Information

California law requires signs to be posted for 24 hours prior to indoor school pesticide applications and remain for 72 hours.

III. Posting Notification Signs for Outdoor Pesticide Applications

Overview

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.

State Information

California law requires signs to be posted 24 hours prior to outdoor pesticide applications and remain for 72 hours.

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.

State Information

California law requires schools to establish a parent and staff registry which, provides 72 hour advance written notification of pesticide applications.

V. Prohibitions on Use

Overview

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. Seven states specifically state restrict the type and timing of pesticides that may be used in a school. 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.

State Information

No conditional, interim, experimental or new active ingredients/pesticides.

VI. Integrated Pest Management

Overview

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, a summary of the adverse health effects 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.

State Information

California law recommends schools to adopt an IPM policy. California law has a comprehensive definition of IPM and allows only the least toxic pesticide to be used as a last resort.

COPY OF STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW
Healthy Schools Act 2000

 

 

LOCAL SCHOOL PESTICIDE PROGRAMS

Arcata, City of
Date Passed: February 2000
IPM: The city is developing an an ordinance that would ban the use of pesticides on city property and create a Pest Control Management Plan. Until such time as the Pest Control Management Plan is approved, the City shall endeavor to implement the policy of the city to avoid the use of pesticides "as reasonably as practicable."

Fremont Unified School District
Date Passed: No offical policy.
IPM:
The school district has no policy but they have been using internal IPM protocols for the past four or five years. They use pesticides only if absolutely needed and only use pesticides having a caution label or less. Spraying is limited to weekends, no pesticides are used in buildings and spraying will not be done above ground level.
Contact: Fred Okal, Supervisor, Phone: (510) 657-0693

Larkspur School District (start page 117)
Date Passed: August 2001
IPM: The District adopted a Least Toxic IPM which gives preference to non-chemical methods of pest control where pesticides are used as a last resort. The policy includes a precautionary principal that states: "when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures will be considered."
Posting Notification Signs: Notification signs will be posted at the application site at least 72 hours in advance and remain for 72 hours after the pesticide application. Products on the Approved List are exempt from this type of notification.
Prior Written Notification: All staff, students and parents will receive annual written notification addressing the expected use of pesticides not on the approved list. Parents may sign up to be on a registry, those who register will be notified 72 hours in advance, except in emergencies. Products on the Approved List are exempt from this notification.
Prohibiton of Use: Toxicity Category I or II pesticide products, pesticides known by the state of California to cause cancer, developmental or reproductive toxicity (CA Prop 65), any pesticide with an EPA known, probable or possible human carcinogen, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors are prohibited. Exemptions apply.
School Contact: Larkspur School District, 230 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939
Phone: (415) 927-6960 • Fax: (415) 927-6964
Local Contacts: Marin Beyond Pesticides, PO Box 824, Kentfield, CA 94914. Phone: (415) 459-1391
http://www.pesticidefreezone.org

Pesticide Education Group (PEG of Marin), 211 William Avenue, Larkspur, CA 94939. Phone: (415) 927-7023
Email: PEGOFMARIN@aol.com


Los Angles Unified School District

Date passed: March 1999
IPM: The districts policy requires implementation of an IPM program where pesticides are used as a last resort. The policy also establishes an approved list of pesticides exempt from notification.
Posting Notification Signs: Notifications signs shall be posted 72 hours prior to an application of an unapproved product and remain posted for five half lives after the application. For emergency applications, signs are posted at the time of applications.
Prior Written Notification: Universal written notice is given at the beginning of the year. Schools are required to establish a registry for all pesticide applications. Parents/guardians and staff shall receive universal 72 hour prior notification for all products not on the approved list.
Prohibition of Use: Products that demonstrate the following health effects: cancer, neurological disruption, birth defects, genetic alteration, reproductive harm, immune system dysfunction, endocrine disruption, and acute poisoning are prohibited.
Other: Includes precautionary principle statement, establishes pest Management Team to determine allowable products and implementation of policy.
Local Contact: California Safe Schools Coalition, PO Box 2756, Toluca Lake, CA 91610, www.calisafe.org.


Mendocino Unified School District
Date Passed: Unknown.
IPM: The district has set up an IPM protocol and do not use any pesticides because of community awareness.
Notification: See state law above.
Prohibition of Use:
See state law above.
Contact: Larry Lance, Maintenance Supervisor, Phone: (707) 937-1603


Nevada County School District

Date Passed: Unknown
IPM: The school's IPM program gives preference to non-chemical methods of pest control and uses least toxic chemicals as a last resort.
Posting Notification Signs: Notification signs shall be posted 72 hours in advance and remain for 72 hours after, this applies to non-bait pesticides as well.
Prior Written Notification: "Through various communication means" the District will notify students, staff and parents in advance of applications.
Prohibition of Use: EPA category I and II pesticides, chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, developmental or reproductive toxicity, pesticides found by the EPA to be known, probable or possible human carcinogens are prohibited.
Local Contact: The Group for Alternatives to Spreading Poisons, 10984 Ridge Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
Phone: (916) 265-5001


Novato Unified School District

IPM: The school policy requires the implementation of a least toxic IPM program that gives preference to non-chemical methods of pest control followed by the least toxic pesticide.
Notification: See state law above.
Prohibition of Use: Chemicals know to the state of California to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity (California Proposition 65) are prohibited. EPA known human carcinogens, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins or endocrine disrupters are prohibited.


Oakland Unified School District

Date Passed: June 2001
IPM: The school's IPM program focuses on prevention and least toxic methods for pest control.
Notification: See state law above.
Prohibition of Use: See state law above.
Contact: Coalition for a Healthy Oakland School Environment (CHOSE):
Catherine Porter, Women's Cancer Resource Center, (510) 601-4040 ext. 302

Oxnard Union High School District
IPM: The policy requires the district to use the safest and lowest risk approach to controlling pests.


Pine Tree Elementary, Sulphur Springs School District

Date Passed: Unknown
IPM: Adopted a least toxic IPM policy adn has developed an approved list of least toxic pesticides.
Notification: See state law above.
Other: The school has not needed to post signs or notify parent and staff in years because of lack of pesticide use. The school also developed an approved list of pesticides.
Contact: Theresa Tye (parent), Phone: (661) 298-2526, Jim Newnan (head of maintenance),
Phone: (661) 252-3017


Placer Hills Unified School District

Date Passed: No official policy.
IPM: The school district has a pesticide reduction/IPM program since 1994. A committee was established for emergency infestations.
Notification: See state law above.
Contact: Ken Poulsen, Superintendent, Phone: (530) 878-2606


San Francisco Unified School District
(pages 25-26)
Date Passed: January 1, 1999
IPM: The school policy requires non-chemical methods of pest control shall be given priority and "reduced risk pesticides" shall be used as a last resort.
Posting of Notification Signs: Notifications signs shall be posted at all areas treated with non-bait pesticides. The signs shall be posted 72 hours before and remain 72 hours after pesticide applications.
Prior Written Notification: Written universal notification shall be given to all students, parents, and staff for non-bait pesticide applications. Written notification of the school district's IPM plan shall be given to parents and staff at beginning of the school year.
Prohibition of Use: Toxicity category I and II pesticides, and pesticides identified by California as chemicals known to cause cancer, developmental or reproductive toxicity pursuant to California Proposition 65. U.S. EPA known, probable and possible human carcinogens prohibited. Only pesticides identified by the San Francisco Department of Environment as "reduced risk pesticides" may be used.
Contact: John Bitoff, Director Facilities Management. Phone: 415-695-5546
San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, 555 Franklin Street, Room 106,
San Francisco, CA 94102 415 241-6493 Fax: 415 241-6429


San Jose Unified School District

IPM: The school district has a written policy that includes posting, switching from calendar spraying to an IPM program. However they still spray a lot and contract out with a company.
Contact: Tim Kelly, Grounds Administrator, Phone: (408) 535-6166


Peabody Charter School (Santa Barbara Unified School District)
IPM: The school district has no policy, however, an IPM project has been set up where effective non-chemical and least toxic pest control methods have been implemented.
Other: To view this school's profile go to CALPRIG's Advancing Alternatives report pages 18-21.
Contact: Phil Boise, Community Environmental Council. Phone: 805-963-0583 x 150


Vista de las Cruces (Santa Barbara Unified School District)

IPM: The school district has no policy, however, an IPM project has been set up where effective non-chemical and least toxic pest control methods have been implemented.
Other: To view this school's profile go to CALPRIG's Advancing Alternatives report pages 18-21.
Contact: Phil Boise, Community Environmental Council. Phone: 805-963-0583 x 150


Ventura Unified School District
IPM: The school district's policy states the "District will give non-chemical methods first consideration when selecting appropriate pest control techniques." The policy establishes an "Approved List" of pesticides.
Posting Notification Signs: See state law above.
Prior Written Notification: the policy requires the district shall maintain a registry of chemically sensitive individuals who shall be given priority notification of any pesticide application: 2 week "personal" prior notification. All parents, teachers and students can request to be placed on a registry and shall receive 72 hour prior notification of any pesticide not on the approved list.
Prohibition of Use: The policy also requires the school district to immediatly ban category I and II acutely toxic pesticides. All chemicals outlined in California proposition 65 known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive damage, and any pesticide identified as a known, probably, or possible carcinogen by the EPA are prohibited. It also requires a six-month phase out of pesticides identified as neurotoxins or endocrine disrupters.
Other: The school's policy requires all new school buildings to be built to accommodate least toxic IPM principles.

 

Other Schools with IPM/Notification Policies:
Berkeley
Fresno Unified School District
Kentfield School District
Kern High School District
Marin County
New Haven Unified School District
Pine Tree School in Canyon County
Placer Hills Unified School District
San Diego Unified School District

 


CONTACTS FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

California Safe Schools
PO Box 2756
Toluca Lake, CA 91610
Phone: (818) 785-5515
Email: calisafe@earthlink.net
www.calisafe.org/

Californians for Pesticide Reform
49 Powell Street, #530
San Francisco, CA 94102-2811
Phone: (415) 981-3939
http://pesticidereform.org/
Learning Curve: Progress on Pesticide Use and the Healthy Schools Act
Advancing Alternatives

CALPIRG (Public Interest Research Group)
3486 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 206-9338
Email: calpirg@pirg.org
www.calpirg.org

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics
315 P Street
Eureka, CA 95501
Phone: (707) 445-5100
Email: cats@alternatives2toxics.org
www.alternatives2toxics.org

For more contacts for local organizations, visit our Links to Local Organizations.



For more information contact
Beyond Pesticides, 701 E Street, S.E., Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20003, info@beyondpesticides.org