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Daily News Archive
From May 1, 2001

Washington State Legislature Passes Children's Pesticide Right-to-Know Act

Taking a great step to protect children's health, the Washington State Legislature passed SSB 5533, The Children's Right-to-Know Act, which requires that school districts post notices warning students and staff when pesticides are used in and around schools, and provides advance notification to interested parents. No posting is currently required in Washington State when pesticides are used inside school buildings, and signs posted outside after spraying must only state that the area has been "treated."

Key provisions of the Children's Right-to-Know Act require: posting notices indoors when pesticides are used; improving existing outdoor postings so they clearly state that pesticides have been used; establishing a system to give interested parents advanced notice of pesticide applications; and an annual report, published by the schools, of their pesticide use.

"This bill ensures that parents know when their children will be exposed to pesticides," said Senator Tracey Eide (D-30), who was a prime sponsor of the bill with Representative Mike Cooper (D-21). "In the past, many parents simply didn't know when these chemicals, which can be very harmful to children, were being used. Now, parents will be fully notified in advance so they can make an informed decision for their kids."

The bill will go to the Governor's desk for signature, and, if signed, will go into effect July 1, 2002, in time for the 2002-3 school year.