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Archive for the 'Integrated and Organic Pest Management' Category


25
Mar

California Bans Controversial d-CON Products as EPA Stalled by Manufacturer

(Beyond Pesticides, March 25, 2014) Highly toxic rodenticides linked to the poisoning of pets, wildlife and young children will no longer be allowed on store shelves in California starting July 1 of this year. According to rules adopted last week by California’ Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), “second generation anticoagulant rodenticides,” including the chemicals brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone found in d-CON brand products, will be classified as California-restricted materials, and only allowed to be used by certified pesticide applicators. Attempts by the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) to remove these products from store shelves nationwide stalled last year after the manufacturer of d-CON rodenticides, Reckitt Benckiser, sued the agency to delay implementation of the cancellation process. In July of 2011, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife requested CDPR restrict the use of anticoagulant rodenticides due to numerous incidents involving direct and indirect poisoning of wildlife. Anticoagulants impair blood clotting and eventually cause internal bleeding in target animals. However, rodents can feed on poisoned bait multiple times before death (some are even resistant to the chemicals now), and as a result their carcasses may contain residues that are many times the lethal dose. Poisoning can occur to nontarget species when […]

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17
Mar

Campaign Launched to Defend the Organic Food Label

(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2014) Organic means healthier food production for you, the environment, and those who farm. So, ensuring that the public trusts the organic food label is critical to the growth of organic. Please join our Save Our Organic campaign to defend the organic food label from USDA changes. Unfortunately, the organic label will be undermined by changes that USDA announced on its website on March 6. These changes: Reduce the rigor of the ongoing decision making process on allowed synthetic materials in organic production; Take away transparency in the decision making process; Limit public participation in policies and procedures governing organic practices and standards; Undermine the responsibility of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and organic community to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on organic issues; Change organic policy making from one driven by the public process to one controlled by USDA, which can choose to dismiss critical issues. Trust in the organic label over the last 20 years has been built on principles of collaboration among the stakeholder groups (farmers, consumers, and producers) and USDA. Because of the democratic and open decision making process, public trust in the organic label has grown rapidly along with the […]

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14
Mar

EPA Funding Integrated Pest Management at Schools

(Beyond Pesticides, March 14, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week  three grants to universities in Texas, Michigan, and Arizona to implement integrated pest management (IPM) practices, reigniting the debate on whether pesticide dependency in many, if not most, IPM systems is warranted given techniques that have eliminated  toxic pesticide use. Are these programs moving pest management in the right direction, as strong IPM measures offer the opportunity to eliminate the use of pesticides, or is the IPM systems unnecessarily using pesticides that can be replaced by  management practices that exclude pest entryways, adopt sanitation and cleaning practices to eliminate pest conducive conditions, and when necessary, as a last resort, use carefully defined least-toxic chemicals. One of the grants, awarded to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, will be utilized to develop a central, online source for materials  providing school districts with important information and tools to implement an IPM program. The project’s goal within the three year  grant  period  is to reach  one percent of schools  or 552,350 students of the estimated 49 million children attending U.S. public schools in 15,000 school districts. Another grant was awarded to University of Arizona, with the goal of developing and implementing […]

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05
Mar

Community Passes Resolution Banning Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2014) The City of Eugene, Oregon became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of  neonicotinoid pesticides, which have scientifically linked to the decline of honey bee colonies.  The passage of the resolution came just one week after the Oregon state legislature passed a pollinator protection  bill that removed language requiring the restriction of neonicotinoid pesticides, and includes instead a weaker requirement to set up a task force that will examine the possibility of future restrictions. In addition to neonicotinoid restrictions, the City’s resolution also expands Eugene’s pesticide-free parks program and now requires all departments to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) standards. The Eugene City Council action was taken unanimously on February 26 with the passage of  Council Resolution,   “Enhancing Current Integrated Pest Management in Parks,”  Resolution 5101. The resolution also includes clear goals on children’s health,  expands the current Parks and Open Space Division’s  Pesticide-Free Parks program from 10 to potentially 40 parks, and requires IPM on all city property. The resolution notes that “children and infants may be especially sensitive to health risks posed by pesticides for several reasons: (a) their internal organs are still developing […]

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03
Mar

Register Today! Advancing Sustainable Communities: People, pollinators and practices

(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2014) Advancing Sustainable Communities: People, pollinators and practices, the 32nd National Pesticide Forum, will be held April 11-12, 2014 at Portland State University, in Portland, OR. This years’ forum will focus on solutions to the decline of pollinators and other beneficials; strengthening the organic food production system; regulating and right-to-know genetically engineered food; improving farmworker protection and agricultural justice; and creating healthy buildings, schools and homes. Join top scientists, local and national activists and grassroots organizers to strategize on solutions that protect health and the environment. For more information and to register, go to www.beyondpesticides.org/forum. In addition to the program, people,  science, sharing and strategizing, you won’t want to miss the  food! Organic food and beverages will be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, and we will have organic hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine for receptions on Friday and Saturday night. Speaker highlights include: Longtime leader in sustainable and organic agriculture, Fred Kirschenmann; “Maverick” Scientist Michael Skinner, Ph.D., author of the landmark study that links exposure to DDT with multi-generational effects, ultimately contributing to obesity three generations down the line; Goat herder Lani Malmberg, who uses her heard of over 2,000 goats to manage invasive […]

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14
Feb

Oregon Bill to Restrict Bee-Killing Pesticides Gutted

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2014) Legislation in Oregon that would have banned the use of four neonicotinoid pesticides for home and garden uses has been severely gutted, following push back from agricultural and nursery interests. The legislative panel will instead propose creating a much weaker requirement to set up a task force that will only examine the possibility of future restrictions. The original bill language would have added neonicotinoid pesticides dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam to Oregon’s list of restricted pesticides, which can only be applied by licensed pesticide applicators. However, the bill has now been drastically amended  after consultation with scientists, nursery and agriculture interests, and environmental groups, said bill sponsor Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Portland) to the House committee. “The Oregon Legislature should be ashamed of itself for its failure to act on the face of this clear ecological crisis,” said beekeeper and activist Tom Theobald. “The change to restricted use was a step in the right direction, a small step, but a step,” he continued, voicing his disappointment. The original bill, HB4139, was introduced by Rep. Reardon earlier this year in response to several bee-kill incidents in Oregon last summer, including one that killed more than 50,000 bumblebees […]

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27
Jan

Goats Help to Prevent Wildfires in California

(Beyond Pesticides, January 27, 2014) During the worst drought that California has seen in 100 years , goats are being used to clear brush, a fire hazard,  on several acres  of city property in Anaheim, California. This is not the first city in California to use goats to limit the dangers of wildfires; Auburn California also used them last September. Goats are an extremely efficient way to clear brush and are used in many landscape settings beyond fire hazardous brush. During the week of January 13-17, Anaheim Fire and Rescue and the Department of Public Works contracted Environmental Land Management to clear six acres of brush along a right-of-way  using close to 100 goats. This method of ecological brush control was specifically chosen because it is a safer way to eliminate the wildfire dangers that dry brush can create.   Other common methods of brush control, such as mowing, can cause problems in dry conditions by creating sparks and inadvertently start fires. The goats were also used in hilly areas of East Anaheim, which are difficult to clear using mowers. This method of brush clearing is extremely efficient and contracting goats cost the city only $5,000 dollars, one-third less than […]

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20
Nov

Illinois Ramps Up Effort to Enforce Pesticide Restrictions in Public Schools

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2013) Illinois public health officials say that more than 200 Illinois schools and day care centers have failed to comply with the most basic of the state’s pest management regulations, and for the first time could face fines if they do not comply. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the state’s IPM regulations, including the requirements for reporting how pests are managed, are designed to protect children in day care centers and schools from unnecessary applications of pesticides. Last Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that it is ramping up its efforts to educate day care centers and schools about the rules aimed at reducing and managing pests in light of widespread non-compliance with pest management regulations in public schools and day care centers. State law requires public schools and licensed day care centers to file an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) form with the department to document how school officials plan to implement IPM. The state’s Structural Pest Control Act (Act), [225 ILCS 235] requires public schools and licensed day care centers to, when economically feasible, develop and implement an IPM program and resubmit their plans every 5 years. Additionally, all […]

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04
Oct

Citrus Farmers and Beekeepers at odds over Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2013)  It was hoped that a  recent meeting in Florida between beekeepers and citrus growers could create stronger communication between both agricultural sectors. Beekeepers in Florida have begun to voice growing concerns over the increased use of insecticides on citrus trees where their bees are used as pollinators. Though this meeting worked to set up an important dialog between beekeepers and citrus growers, it focused predominantly on the effects of accidental exposure. This focus does not take into account the long-term residues these systemic insecticides can leave in the environment, contaminating nectar and pollen.     The recent September meeting that was organized by the Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putman, a former U.S. congressman and citrus farmer, was meant to start a dialog between citrus growers and beekeepers. This dialog was viewed as necessary by Florida’s Department of Agriculture as beekeepers are worried over the increased use of insecticides in citrus groves. Recently, citrus farmers have increased their use of insecticides from several times a year to applications every month or greater to combat the invasive Asian citrus pysllids. Asian citrus pysllids can infect trees with a bacterium that causes citrus greening. Honey bees in Florida […]

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21
Aug

Bill Introduced to Restrict the Pesticide Methoprene in Estuaries in New York County

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2013) Suffolk County, New York, Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) introduced a bill on July 30, 2013 to establish strict guidelines for the use of methoprene within estuaries in Suffolk County.   Methoprene, an insect growth regulator, is commonly used in mosquito control programs, but is highly toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including crabs and lobsters, which are the backbone of the fishing industry along the East coast. This bill follows similar legislation already passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island to help protect lobster populations. The lobster population in the Long Island Sound has decreased dramatically over the last decade, corresponding with the introduction of pesticides such as methoprene in mosquito control programs. Methoprene  is an insect growth regulator that prevents development to the adult reproductive stages so that insects die in arrested immaturity. It is an insecticide that is acutely toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including valuable food and commercial species like crabs and lobsters.  The effect of mosquito pesticides on marine life, especially lobsters, has come under scrutiny in recent years as mosquito spray programs in various states escalated efforts to suppress West Nile virus (WNv). Other mosquito-killing chemicals suspected of causing damage to aquatic life include […]

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14
Aug

Think Green, Practice Organic This Semester!

(Beyond Pesticides, August 14, 2013) With another school year upon us, this can be an exciting and busy time of the year for parents and teachers as children prepare for the first day back. During this hectic time, it’s important to remember that children may face unexpected dangers at school from well-intentioned but misguided attempts to create a germ and pest-free environment through the use of pesticides. Students are better served when schools use environmentally friendly products and practice integrated pest management techniques.   Additionally, schools can further their students’ education outside the classroom by providing habitat for wildlife and growing organic food in a school garden.   By thinking green and going organic, your child’s school can become a model for the type of change that’s occurring in communities across the nation. Beyond Pesticides has put together this back-to-school guide to help safeguard your kids from dangerous chemicals at school. Use this list to start the new school year right and ensure that you are sending your kids back to a healthier and safer environment. Fight Germs Without Triclosan Because of its link to adverse health effects – including asthma, cancer and learning dis ­abilities, triclosan has no place […]

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09
Aug

Biological Pest Controls Combat Citrus Disease after Pesticide Failure

(Beyond Pesticides August 9, 2013) Citrus growers in California are now turning to a natural solution after pesticides have been shown to be ineffective. Teams of invasive species experts have started releasing tamarixia radiate, a tiny parasitic wasp, to control the invasive Asian citrus psyllid population. Asian citrus psyllid can spread a disease which causes greening, devastating citrus production. This use of biological pest control demonstrates that the use of toxic chemicals is unnecessary as safer alternatives have already been proven effective. California’s citrus production is a $2 billion industry, which accounts for 80% of the U.S. fresh market produce and after Asian citrus psyllid was detected in southern California in 2010 growers have spent close to $15 million yearly to fight this pest. The psyllids were first discovered in Florida in 1998 and has since spread to all of its 32 citrus growing counties. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has quarantined nine states, including California and Florida. The quarantines prohibit interstate movement of citrus trees and require labeling of citrus nursery stocks from areas where greening has been detected. The psyllids cause greening by spreading a disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB) to citrus trees. A pysllid that […]

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18
Jun

New Study Exposes Range of Harm from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2013) Neonicotinoid pesticides have broad ranging negative impacts not only on beneficial pollinators, but on overall biodiversity and ecosystem health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study, conducted by David Goulson, Ph.D, of the University of Sussex, provides a detailed overview of the current literature on the economic and environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides. Dr. Goulson’s work draws stark and disturbing conclusions about the environmental fate of these systemic insecticides. First introduced in the early 1990’s as an alternative to the acutely toxic organophosphate and carbamate classes of  pesticides, neonicotinoids are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They can be broadly applied as a spray or soil drench, however, the ability of these chemicals to translocate into a plant as it grows has led to the creation of a large market within conventional agriculture for seeds coated with these pesticides. As Dr. Goulson notes, global acceptance of treated seeds has undermined the adoption of alternative methods of conventional pest control, even  integrated pest management (IPM), which can reduce pesticide reliance  through monitoring and biological, structural, and cultural strategies. Instead, the treated seed market pushes farmers toward […]

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13
Jun

Oregon Adopts IPM Policy for All State-Owned Land

(Beyond Pesticides, June 13, 2013) On June 4, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law the State Integrated Pest Management Act (HB 3364) which strengthens and improves coordination among state agency programs that implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on state-owned and leased properties. The bill passed in the Oregon House on a 51-9 vote and went on to pass in the Oregon Senate on a 24-6 vote last month. According to Beyond Toxics, the statewide environmental health organization that  helped to draft  the bill, though the new law does not outright ban pesticides, the state will see less pesticide use as well as more accountability and public input regarding state pesticide policy. It is an important step toward ending toxic dependency on harmful pesticides, and it joins other states seeking to reduce pesticide use. See  Beyond Pesticides’ report Ending Toxic Dependency:  The State of IPM. Organizers in Oregon also hope that the new law will set the stage for future improvements to forest practices and riparian restorations. Chief bill sponsors include Senator Chris Edwards (D-Lane County) and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Multnomah County). Dr. Paul Jepson, Oregon’s State IPM Coordinator and a professor at Oregon State University was also a key […]

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21
May

As Mosquito Season Approaches, Take Preventive Action Without Toxic Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2013) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently concluded that 2012 was the deadliest year for West Nile Virus (WNv) in the United States. “A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii),” said the CDC in a statement. While it is still too early to determine whether this year will be as bad as last year’s outbreak (experts say the largest disease outbreaks  is strongly driven by weather patterns characterized by hot wet summers), one thing is certain: There are simple mosquito control techniques that can be performed in your community and backyard that will prevent the spread of WNv and nuisance biting mosquitoes without the use of highly toxic pesticides. Beyond Pesticides fielded calls from concerned residents across the U.S. whose communities were doused with pesticides in attempts to control WNv. Yet, these controls have been shown to be ineffective at managing mosquito populations. According to David Pimentel, PhD, professor emeritus of entomology at Cornell University, less than .0001% of adulticides (mosquito insecticides) reach target adult mosquitoes. Dr. Pimentel notes, “Thus by both ground and aerial application […]

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26
Mar

Bed Bugs Display Multiple Layers of Resistance to Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2013) Scientists are learning more about the mechanisms bed bugs have developed to increase their resistance to the increasingly common class of pyrethriod pesticides. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports in early March, adds further weight to calls from consumer health and environmental groups to adopt proven, non-toxic strategies to manage bed bugs and other household pest problems. After all, if alternatives exist, why put your family at risk with unsustainable, ineffective control methods? This latest research reveals something scientists had not suspected. Bed bugs are developing most of their resistance-associated genes on the outer layer of their shell. These genes either neutralize the insecticides before they can take effect, or slow down the toxins’ move towards the insects’ nerve cells. In addition, bed bugs in the study also show resistance developing within their nerve cells, the target site for the pesticides. This multilayered resistance is unique, scientists say, but, as Beyond Pesticides has long documented, pest resistance to pesticides is not. A 2011 study from Ohio State University reveals bed bugs’ ability to evolve hereditary changes in their production of certain enzymes, allowing them to excrete the toxins without being harmed. A study […]

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16
Jan

Elevated Chlorpyrifos Residues Detected in Indigenous Children

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2013) Children living near chemical-intensive or conventional plantations in Costa Rica are exposed to twice as much of the insecticide chlorpyrifos compared to children living near organic plantations, a study reports. More than half the children, mostly from indigenous tribes- Ngäbe and Bribri – have a  higher daily exposures than allowed under U.S. federal standards. Chlorpyrifos is linked to neurological effects, especially in children, and is still permitted for use on crops. The study,  Indigenous children living nearby plantations with chlorpyrifos-treated bags have elevated 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy) urinary concentrations, was lead by Berna van Wendel de Joode, PhD  (Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET), Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica). It was conducted in Costa Rica’s banana and plantain plantations in the Talamanca region, and  targeted villages situated nearby to the plantations where blue bags treated with chlorpyrifos are routinely used to protect banana and plantain crops from pests. Two villages under study are near plantations that use chlorpyrifos-treated bags, while the organic village is near several plantations  that use little or no insecticide. For 140 children, aged 6 — 9, mostly indigenous Ngäbe and Bribri, parent-interviews and urine samples were obtained. Chlorpyrifos’ environmental levels […]

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14
Jan

Hazardous Aerial Spraying Used for Invasive Weed Management

(Beyond Pesticides, January 14, 2013) Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park, located on Lake Erie, recently contracted a commercial helicopter to spray herbicides on 170 acres of the park in an  attempt to control an overgrowth of  phragmites and narrow leaf cattail. This decision to aerial spray herbicides comes after the park has unsuccessfully tried to control these invasive plant species with ground level herbicide spraying since 1994. Presque Isle is the most popular destination along Pennsylvania’s six-mile Lake Erie coastline, and has over four million visitors a year. Presque Isle is home to over 330 types of birds and more than 800 species of native plants, many of which are rare, threatened, or endangered. This aerial herbicide application may have unintended health consequences for both human visitors and endangered animals that call this park their home. The October spraying also raises questions concerning how invasive species problems are framed, leading to unnecessary pesticide use. Spraying pesticides aerially can lead to a higher rate of pesticide drift compared to ground application. Given that pesticides can drift even when applied from a truck or a handheld applicator, up to 40% of the pesticide is lost to drift during aerial applications. Even when […]

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09
Jan

Lower Asthma Rates in Boston Attributed to IPM in Public Housing

(Beyond Pesticides, January 9, 2013) Boston health officials say new city data indicate that asthma incidences have dropped nearly by half since 2005. This is attributed to Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and Boston Public Health Commission implementation of an integrated pest management  (IPM)  program in low-income housing to reduce the number of cockroaches and rodents, while reducing the use of pesticides, which, along with cockroach and rodent droppings, can aggravate asthma symptoms. The data, covering 2006 through 2010, show the rate of adults who reported having asthma symptoms in the authority’s units dropped from 23.6 percent in 2006 to 13 percent in 2010, the latest year available. At the same time, asthma rates in other low-income housing in Boston, not run by BHA, remained relatively unchanged. Public health analysts studied data from a biennial telephone survey of Boston adults between 2006 and 2010. The survey asks residents a wide range of questions, and analysts compared the answers from roughly 300 housing authority residents to others not living in city-run housing. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, health authorities found extremely high infestations of roaches and rodents in BHA buildings, and equally concerning, housing leaders were seeing desperate residents resorting […]

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02
Jan

New Jersey Legislators Seek Ban on School Playing Field Pesticides in 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2013) As the medical community weighs in, the new year begins with a push in New Jersey to adopt the Safe Playing Fields Act (S1143 / A2412), straightforward common sense legislation to remove children from harm’s way by stopping hazardous lawn pesticide use on school grounds. The bill’s sponsors, state Senators Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) —who moved Senate Bill 1143    through the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee with unanimous support in December, are seeking a full Senate vote this month. The bill prohibits lawn pesticides on playing fields of child care centers and schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. On December 14, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote  a letter  to legislators in support of the legislation, citing the recent policy position and technical report that AAP released last year. In its letter, the AAP chapter said: “The NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) represents 1650 pediatricians. The national Academy is a professional membership organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. […]

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20
Dec

San Francisco To Release Innovative Design Guidelines to Build Out Pests

(Beyond Pesticides, December 20, 2012) A preliminary version of Pest Prevention by Design, authored by Chris A. Geiger, Ph.D. and Caroline Cox of the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), was recently released by the San Francisco Department of the Environment (DOE). These guidelines, which will formally be released in mid-January of 2013, were created to help architects, engineers and builders to design and construct buildings that minimize the use toxic chemicals for pest control. This is accomplished by laying out comprehensive guidelines for building designs that prevent pest problems from taking hold. According to the authors of this report, “To our knowledge, no other comprehensive guidelines on pest preventive design tactics exists.” The San Francisco DOE is now exploring ways to pilot test the guidelines in various housing developments in San Francisco, and is hoping that these guidelines will be incorporated into various green building checklists, such as Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification (LEED). These guidelines work to address the issue that pest preventive tactics are rarely included in a comprehensive way at the design stage of buildings. The authors point out that architecture, construction, facility management, and pest control companies are part of insular industries that have […]

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