Grassroots Pressure Pushes WA Legislature to Pass the Children's Pesticide Right-to-Know Act
The Washington State Legislature passed the Children's Pesticide Right-to-Know Act (SB 5533) this past weekend, a victory for protecting children's health in the state. The bill requires schools to give parents the information they need to better protect their children from pesticides used in school buildings and on school grounds. Although the bill does not restrict the use of toxic pesticides at schools, it is an excellent first step to educating the public about the hazards associated with pesticides.
In 1999, WTC surveyed Washington school districts, finding that 88% of the school districts surveyed use pesticides linked to cancer, reproductive damage, nervous system harm, or disruption of hormonal systems.
The bill specifically requires public schools to post pesticide notification signs indoors, improve outdoor pesticide notification signs, establish a parent notification registry, and publish an annual report of their pesticide use.
Thanks to the vigilance of the Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC), who worked to create grassroots pressure in support of this bill over the past several years.
If signed by the Governor, Washington will join the other 31 states, identified by Beyond Pesticides/NCAMP's report The Schooling of State Pesticide Laws - 2000, that have adopted pesticide acts and regulations that address the protection of children by specifically focusing on pesticide use in, around or near schools. (See http://www.beyondpesticides.org for a copy of The Schooling of State Pesticide Laws - 2000.)
For more information
about the Children's Pesticide Right-to-Know Act, contact Erika Schreder
at the Washington Toxics Coalition at 206-632-1545, [email protected]
or see http://www.watoxics.org.