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Maine


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

Maine state law prohibits aerial application within 1,000 feet of a school unless the wind is between 2 and 10 mph.

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

Maine Board of Pesticides Control regulation (Ch. 27) requires a sign shall be posted at each point of access to the treated area and in a common area of the school at least two working days prior to the pesticide application and for at least forty-eight hours following the application.

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

Maine Board of Pesticides Control regulation (Ch. 27) requires a sign shall be posted at each point of access to the treated area and in a common area of the school at least two working days prior to the pesticide application and for at least forty-eight hours following the application.

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

Maine Board of Pesticides Control regulation (Ch. 27) requires schools to provide an annual notice at the beginning of each school year to parents/guardians and school employees. Schools may also establish a notification registry for those who wish to be notified before each pesticide 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

Indoor application of pesticide with no reentry, 24 hour restricted reentry. Maine law only allows indoor spray application for public health pests, determined by the IPM coordinator.

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

Maine Board of Pesticides Control regulation (Ch. 27) requires all public and private schools to adopt and implement an IPM policy for school buildings and school grounds.

COPY OF STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW
Board of Pesticides Control Regulation Ch. 27: Standards for Pesticide Application and Public Notification in Schools

 

LOCAL SCHOOL PESTICIDE PROGRAMS

Five Town Community School District
Date Passed: unknown
IPM: The district's policy states the full range of pest control methods, including no action, shall be considered. Least-toxic pesticides are used as a last resort.
Posting Notification Signs: Noticies shall be posted in "designated areas" around the school when pesticides are applied (no time specifics provided).
Prior Written Notification: Universal noticies shall be sent home to all parents (no time specifics provided).
Contact: Five Town Community School District, PO Box 1267 (7 Lions Lane), Camden, ME 04843
Phone: (207) 236-3358

 

CONTACTS FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

Maine Toxics Action Coalition
Kathleen McGee
643 Brown's Point Road
Bowdoinham, ME 04008
Phone: (207) 666-3598
Email: kmcgee@gwi.net

For more contacts to 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