TAKING TOXICS OUT OF CA SCHOOLS
NonToxic Schools is dedicated to protecting the health of California’s children. According to the American Pediatric Association along with many other nationally recognized child health advocacy groups, children should not be exposed to ANY pesticides. In 2022 we are educating schools about their legal responsibility to stop using toxic pesticides and helping them to implement effective nontoxic pest management practices.
Children are the canaries in the coal mine. Exposure to chemicals has increased dramatically in the past decades…children today are the 5th generation of people exposed to synthetic carcinogens from the moment of conception.
- Today, 1 in 2 American children suffers from a chronic illness.
- 1 in 6 has a learning disability.
- 1 in 8 suffers from asthma.
- 1 in 3 is obese.
- Childhood cancers like leukemia have increased 30% in 30 years.
- Pediatric cancer is now the leading cause of death by disease in childhood.
- Autism has increased 400% in 20 years and now affects 1 in 68 children (1 in 32 boys).
- 40% more women report difficulty getting pregnant than they did 30 years ago.
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California Healthy Schools Act
In 2000, the California Legislature passed AB 2260, also known as the Healthy Schools Act (HSA), to protect the health of school children and to reduce their exposure to pesticides.
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is the lead state agency ensuring HSA compliance and providing HSA education.
The Healthy Schools Act covers public K–12 schools and public and private child day care facilities collectively defined as school sites. There are approximately 1,000 school districts and 12,000 child care facilities that must follow the HSA requirements.
At school districts, the responsibility for carrying out the HSA requirements tends to fall to the maintenance and operations departments.
To meet the intentions of the Healthy Schools Act, California law mandates that school districts provide:
- right-to-know information to parents, teachers, and staff when pesticides are used at schools and child care facilities.
- pesticide use information through notifications and postings, and
- keeping annual records that are made available upon request.
In 2015 the enactment of SB 1405 added mandates for schools to:
- create both a policy and a yearly plan that uses the least-toxic pest management practices, also known as integrated pest management (IPM),
- to have an integrated pest management coordinator,
- to report yearly school site pesticide use to the Department of Pesticide Regulation,
- and for anyone using a pesticide (including a disinfectant) at a school site to complete a yearly IPM training BEFORE using a pesticide.
Taking Toxic Pesticides out of CA Schools in 2022 is a campaign the Bay Area based nonprofit, NonToxic Schools. We have partnered with a number of organizations to aid schools in complying with California’s Healthy Schools Act and thereby lowering the toxic burden of our children. We are helping schools stop using toxic disinfectants and other toxic pesticides on school campuses in favor of safer products and safer practices, including natural weed prevention practices and distinguishing between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Children need a healthy environment in order to thrive and it is achievable. We encourage schools to use the precautionary principle in determining best practices.