Daily News Archive

NJ Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Pesticides at Schools
(from October 3, 2002)

Earlier this week, New Jersey took a major step forward in protecting children at school. The State Senate passed the School Integrated Pest Management Act (S-137, Buono/Matheussen). According to Garden State EnviroNews, the act will improve school pesticide policies on three fronts. First, the use of scheduled toxic pesticide applications will be discouraged. Secondly, the state will adopt a standard definition of integrated pest management (IPM). In addition, parents and staff will receive 72-hour advance notice of pesticide sprayings.

Some New Jersey schools have already implemented a reduction in pesticide use, such as Cedar Grove, Evesham, Newark, Haddonfield, Belmar, Eastern Camden County Regional, and Hackensack. However, there are many that have scheduled monthly sprayings within it walls. The use of these poisons in schools is significant, since children are especially at risk to risks posed by chemicals.

"Some children and teachers have become sick from organophosphate pesticide exposures leading to lifelong disabilities. In pesticide incidents around the country, schools have been evacuated and occasionally closed for lengthy periods of time when pesticide fumes from lawn care or athletic field applications have drifted into open windows or have been pulled into the building's ventilation system," says Mary Lamielle, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies.

Other states that have passed bills requiring use of IPM and 72-hour advance notification include New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas and Illinois. To find out pesticide policies of the schools in your area, click here. Contact Beyond Pesticides for information about how you can help reduce pesticide use at schools in your community.