A bill by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to provide more stringent guidelines on the use of harmful, toxic pesticides in schools is headed to the Governor.
“Our young people deserve to be protected from harmful pesticides when they are at school,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “Families should be assured that their children are not exposed to pesticides unless absolutely necessary. SB 1405 will promote the usage of preventative measures at school sites that can lessen the need for toxic pesticides. If pesticides must be used on campuses, employees should receive the proper training to apply them in the safest manner possible.”
The National Academy of Sciences reports that children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults and estimates that 50 percent of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs at a young age.
Under SB 1405 school sites will report all pesticide use to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Current law only requires professional applicators to report their use. This bill also requires anyone—including school staff and professional pest control applicators—using pesticides on school sites to undergo an annual training on integrated pest management and the safe usage of pesticides.
An integrated pest management plan focuses on long-term preventative measures to solve pest problems with the least amount of hazards to people and the environment. SB 1405 requires school sites to have a written integrated pest management plan in place. This practice has already been successfully implemented by the Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Clara Unified School District, without significant cost burdens.
This is Senator DeSaulnier’s third attempt to regulate the use of pesticides on school sites. He previously authored SB1157 in 2010 and SB 394 in 2011.