According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.”
The AAP supports pediatricians in educating parents on the risks pesticides pose to young children, and avoiding pesticide use whenever possible.
From the US President’s Cancer Panel annual report, ‘Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk‘:
“Children are at special risk for cancer due to environmental contaminants and should be protected. Opportunities for eliminating or minimizing cancer-causing and cancer-promoting environmental exposures must be acted upon to protects all Americans, but especially children.”
Echoing the USPCP’s conclusions, the EPA states that;
“Children are at a greater risk for some pesticides for a number of reasons. Children’s internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems may provide less natural protection than those of an adult. There are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates.”
For these reasons as well as others, in 2012 the EPA created the Strategic and Implementation Plan for School IPM. It encourages all schools to use IPM in order to reduce pesticide exposure to our children.
By definition Integrated Pest Management is a managed pest management system that: (a) eliminates or mitigates economic and health damage caused by pests; (b) minimizes the use of pesticides and the risk to human health and the environment associated with pesticide applications; and, (c) uses integrated methods, site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, an evaluation of the need for pest control, and one or more pest control methods, including sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical and living biological controls, other non-chemical methods, and, if nontoxic options are unreasonable and have been exhausted, least toxic pesticides.
Unfortunately, IPM has become whatever a practitioner wants it to mean. The definition has become clouded, with many synthetic chemical dependent programs claiming to be IPM.
The city of Dover, New Hampshire has three elementary schools, Garrison, Horne, and Woodman Park, in addition to the middle and high schools. They serve a large number of students from Dover, Barrington and Nottingham as well. The school system contracts separately from the city for turf care.
After making inquiries to school officials, we have obtained a list of products being used on athletic fields during the 2014 season. Bellamy fields 1,2, & 3, Dunaway baseball field, Dunaway football field, football practice field, Varsity softball field, and Fiske field. *Please note that our schools use and are connected to city owned property including athletic fields that are also treated and not on this list.
along fence lines:
We can do better than this. It is important that we as a community correct this situation by making it clear to our school officials that toxic pesticide use is not in line with the recommendations of the EPA, AAP and the USPCP, and that the only acceptable form of turf management is an organic systems approach.
In their letter to the President, the USPCP states:
“…the public remains unaware of many common environmental carcinogens…Most are also unaware that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults. Efforts to inform the public of such harmful exposures and how to prevent them must be increased. All levels of government, from federal to local, must work to protects every American from needless disease through rigorous regulation of environmental pollutants.”
Dover school system decision makers can be reached by phone or email.
Dr. Elaine Arbour 603 516-6800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff White 603 516-6882 email@example.com
Non-Toxic Dover is doing its part to share information with the school system on the great importance of protecting students from unnecessary pesticide exposure by using an organic systems approach to turf management, and structural IPM for indoor pest control. We will continue to work with officials until the goal is met.
Join us on facebook for more updates on our progress with the city and school system.