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Maryland


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

Maryland does not have any statewide requirements regarding restricted spray zones around school property.

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

Maryland laws require middle and high schools to develop “in-school notification to students and staff members before a pesticide is applied.” It also states that “in-school notification” is required for bait stations used in elementary or secondary schools. Such notification “may include a sign posted on the door of the room or the room in which the bait station is placed.” Information regarding the application is available upon request.

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

Maryland law requires signs to be posted at the time of the application. The sign is to remain posted for 48 hours.

IV. Prior Written Notification

Overview

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

Maryland law requires 24-hour notice to all parents, guardians and staff of pesticide application at elementary schoolsl. Prior notification includes a statement that warns of pesticide exposure hazards to pregnant women and infants as well as a short description of the potential adverse effects of the pesticide used. In the case of middle and high schools, the law sets up a registry-based notification system. Parents, guardians and staff are informed how to be included on the registry at the beginning of each school year. A person on the registry will be notified at least 24 hours before a pesticide is applied at the school. In addition to the registry, middle and high schools are required “to develop an appropriate means of in-school notification to students and staff members before a pesticide is applied” (1998 Md. Law 286 § 1(I)(4)). Written notification, one week in advance of an application, will be given to everyone in the school when a space spraying application occurs in a school building. Before a bait station is used, schools must develop a method of “in-school” notification. If an emergency pesticide application occurs, notification is given within 24 hours after the application.

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. 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

Maryland does not have any state laws restricting school pesticide use.

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, 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

Maryland law prioritizes non-chemical solutions, stating that IPM uses “one or more pest control methods including sanitation, structural repair, nonchemical methods and when nontoxic options are unreasonable or have been exhausted, pesticides.” This law requires the Maryland Department of Agriculture to develop uniform standards and criteria for implementing IPM and the county boards will then implement its schools procedures once approved by the secretary. A person is designated to maintain and make available information on the pesticides that may be used.

COPY OF STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW
Maryland School Bill

Maryland Code, Title 15: Integrated Pest Management and Notification of Pesticide Use in a Public School Building or on School Grounds

 

LOCAL SCHOOL PESTICIDE PROGRAMS

Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Date Passed: June 1999
IPM: The IPM program emphasizes non-chemical methods of pest mangement and the use of least toxic chemicals, no action will also be considered. Spraying pesticides is used when "urgent."
Posting Notification Signs: See state law above.
Prior Written Notification: See state law above.
School Contact: Daniel A. Lahart, Environmental Issues Program Manager, Division of Operations, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, 9034 Front Smallwood Road, Pasandene, MD 21122. Phone: (410) 360-0138

Lime Kiln Middle School (Howard County Public School System)
Date Passed: unknown
IPM: This school is unique from other schools in the district because it is voluntarily maintained by the county with the exclusive use of low risk, least toxic methods of pest control. Also, the Grounds Department has agreed to not chemically treat the grounds for pests, as long as parent volunteers maintain the grounds (organized by the local PTA). As opposed to other schools in the Howard County Public School System that allow chemical pest control methods in accordance with the Maryland School Bill.
Posting Notification Signs: See state law above.
Prior Written Notification: See state law above.
Other: This school allows out of district children to attend who are physician certified and state registered as pesticide sensitive individuals.
Parent Contact: Veronika Carella, phone: (410) 489-5495, email: jlcarella@msn.com
School Contact: Lime Kiln Middle School, 11650 Scaggsville Road (Rt. 216), Fulton, Maryland 20759.
Phone: (410) 880-5988

Montgomery County
Date Passed: July 2000
IPM: The school defines IPM as the "use of combined pest control alternatives, most effective to prevent or reduce to acceptable levels pests and damage caused by pests."
Posting Notification Signs: See state law above.
Prior Written Notification: See state law above.
Other: The IPM Supervisor in the Divison of Maintenance manages all information regarding pest control methods. This person has access to all MSDS and pesticde product labels for parents/staff to review upon request.
Contact: Donald Payne Environment Abatement Supervisor (301) 670-8238
Shady Grove Depot, 16651 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville, MD, 20855. Phone:(301) 840-8100

St. Mary's County Public Schools
Date Passed: 1989
IPM: School's IPM program requires priority be given to non-chemical methods of pest management. Spraying pesticides is done when urgent with then least toxic chemicals.
Posting Notification Signs: Signs shall be posted 48 hours in advance.
Prior Written Notification: The school's administration and nurse shall be notified at least 48 hours prior to pesticide applications. See state law above for more notification requirements.
Other: Pesticide applications inside the school are applied after school hours or when students are not present in the classroom.
Contact: Mr. Terry Fenwick (Operations) or Mr. Danny Johnson (Maintenance), Phone: (301) 475-4256
St. Mary's County Public Schools, P.O. Box 641, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650

Triadelphia Ridge Elementary (Howard County Public School System)
Date Passed: unknown
IPM: This school is unique from other schools in the district because it is voluntarily maintained by the county with the exclusive use of low risk, least toxic methods of pest control. Also, the Grounds Department has agreed to not chemically treat the grounds for pests, as long as parent volunteers maintain the grounds (organized by the local PTA). As opposed to other schools in the Howard County Public School System that allow chemical pest control methods in accordance with the Maryland School Bill.
Posting Notification Signs: See state law above.
Prior Written Notification: See state law above.
Other: This school allows out of district children to attend who are physician certified and state registered as pesticide sensitive individuals.
Parent Contact: Veronika Carella, phone: (410) 489-5495, email: jlcarella@msn.com
School Contact: Triadelphia Ridge Elementary, 13400 Triadelphia Road, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042.
Phone: (410) 313-2560, Fax: (410) 313-2566


Other Schools with IPM/Notification Policies:
Frederick County
Howard County Public School System



CONTACTS FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

Maryland Pesticide Network
544 Epping Forest Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: (410) 849-3805
Fax: 410-849-8487
Email: info@mdpestnet.org
www.mdpestnet.org/

The Maryland Public Interest Research Group
3121 St. Paul St., Suite 26
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 467-0439
Email: marypirg@pirg.org
www.marypirg.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