Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grassroots Coalition Working to Retain Ban on School Pesticides

From the Grassroots Coalition

A few years ago we were able to pass a ban on pesticides around school grounds. That law phased in a ban on the use of pesticides on their playing fields that would take affect this year. The chemical industry has been lobbying HARD ever since to get this ban over turned. They have succeeded in convincing some legislators that IPM is better than a ban. IPM allows for the use of any pesticides – it’s the same as no ban.

Please, please, call your legislators and ask them not to allow IPM. If you read below, there is a specific statement you can read over the phone if that is more comfortable for you. A phone call today is better than an email. A letter may be too late. 

Here is a sample letter you can use. It would be best if you can personalize it:
Please vote no on any proposed amendment to Bill 5418 AN ACT CONCERNING INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR MUNICIPAL FACILITIES that would remove the pesticide ban on school athletic fields and replace it with a requirement for integrated pest management.

While Integrated Pest Management may sound good, it has not worked in other states, and continues to allow the use of dangerous pesticides. There is ever mounting evidence of the harm caused by lawn care chemicals, especially to children.

Many Connecticut citizens worked extremely hard to pass the ban in 2005, making Connecticut a leader in protecting children from unnecessary exposure to dangerous poisons. In addition to being the right thing to do for our children, organic lawn care works well on athletic fields and over time, actually saves money.  This has recently been demonstrated by lawn care expert, Chip Osborne and the University of MA. 

John Wargo, a Yale professor and director of its new Environmental Studies Program, was quoted in the Danbury Times as saying:

"Current pesticide law permits the application of dozens of pesticides in the school environment and they are normally applied by individuals who have little or no training in modern chemistry, biology, toxicology, epidemiology, exposure assessment or risk assessment,'' Wargo wrote. "It is my opinion that IPM should not be relied upon to provide sufficient protection for children's and women's health."  

Connecticut should not be taking a step backward. Please do not allow the lawn care pesticide ban to be overturned!


adamaceto said...

If untrained applicators and undefined guidelines for safe usage around women and children are the greatest concern of experts, than why not develop proper guidelines and demand the applicators be appropriately trained? An outright ban is excessive and eliminates valuable pest control measures (admittedly some of which are misused or overused) have real value in maintaining a safe and healthy school environment.

Anonymous said...

Pesticides and herbicides may have their place but on the playing fields of children is not healthy and should not be allowed.