Daily News Archive
From November 2, 2005                                                                                                           

Seattle School Board Adopts Strong Pesticide Reduction Policy
(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2005) In mid September the Seattle School Board unanimously adopted a district-wide policy to eliminate the use of the most toxic pesticides in schools. The new policy prohibits the use of pesticides linked to cancer, nervous system damage, and other health risks.

According to a press release by the Washington Toxics Coalition, the policy was drafted by an advisory committee comprised of district staff members, parents, and doctors. The policy includes:

  • Use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at all school sites, with a focus on pest prevention and use of only least-toxic pesticides.
  • Clear criteria for evaluating pesticides that eliminates the use of pesticides that can contribute to cancer, nervous system damage, reproductive harm, hormone disruption, or damage to the environment. Exceptions to the criteria are evaluated for emergencies or persistent problems.
  • Prior notification of pesticide use to all parents and staff members when the law requires, and an expanded posting system.
  • Creation of an on-going IPM committee to assist with implementation, consisting of district staff and community members.

In the press release district Board President Dr. Brita Butler-Wall reiterates the Seattle School Board’s commitment and explains the basis for their decision, “Seattle Public Schools takes our commitment to the health of our students, staff, and the planet very seriously. We have embraced the concept of healthy learning environments through a strong policy preventing possible exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides.”