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Pesticide Awareness

Organization(s) Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Project Description In May 2000, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a comprehensive bill to protect children from the harmful effects of pesticides. The Legislation requires that: all schools and day-care centers limit their use of pesticides, and when they do apply pesticides they clearly and accurately notify all parents, school authorities, and employees of such use. The Act requires schools and child-care programs to limit the use of pesticides to those types that pose the lowest risks to human health. For example, pesticides classified as likely or probable human carcinogens by the EPA are forbidden. Less toxic anti-microbial pesticides are allowed. Exposure to all pesticides should be minimized by prohibiting their application while children are located in or adjacent to a facility. A further provision requires that each school, daycare center, and school age child care program in Massachusetts produce an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan within one year of enactment. IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risk. For example, the selection and placement of plants can reduce the necessity for pesticide use over the long term. Aside from limiting the exposure of children to pesticides, the Act requires that interested parties be notified of pesticide use in the following ways: when pesticides are used, written notification must be provided to employees, supervised children, and their parents at least two working days prior to application on school property, daycare center property, or school age child care program property; the application of pesticides shall not commence prior to the dates set forth in the written notification and shall conclude within 72 hours of the scheduled date; areas in which pesticides are applied must be clearly and conspicuously marked with a warning sign prior to and at least 72 hours after application; and records of any and all chemical pesticide application made at a school, day care center, or school age child care program in MA shall be maintained on site for a period not less that five years, and shall be made available to the public upon request. In addition, all agencies of the Commonwealth are required to eliminate or reduce the use of pesticides along roadways. State agencies, authorities, and utilities are required to give 21 days notice to cities and towns before they apply pesticides. A pesticide stakeholder workgroup will be appointed to develop and monitor the pesticide reporting system. The MA Toxics Use Reduction Institute has been focusing on increasing pesticide awareness through its community grants program. TURI has worked in partnership with communities to raise awareness about pesticides and help put in place policies that incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in schools, on playing fields, and other places where children may be exposed. For the past two years, TURI has worked with the town of Marblehead to develop the state's first municipal organic lawn demonstration site and educational resource center on pesticides and organic turf management. This has led to interest from communities across the state on developing similar projects. TURI has developed a community web site (www.turi.org/community) with information and links for this and related projects.

More Info www.turi.org/community
Project Contact
Name Eileen Gunn
Phone 978-934-4343
Project Keywords
Processes Pest Management
Industrial Sectors Educational Institutions
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 10 No 2, Summer 2000 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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