Daily News Archive
Bill To Protect Children From Toxic Pesticides Dies
The pesticide industry, a strong opponent of AB1006, claimed the proposal would weaken pest management in schools, posing a threat to students by exposing them to disease carrying pests such as rats. However, pesticide use is unnecessary because safer alternatives, such as cultural, biological and structural strategies, can successfully control pest problems. Additionally, conventional pest control tends to ignore the causes of pest infestations and instead rely on routine, scheduled pesticide applications. These are often temporary fixes, ineffective over the long term, since most common pests are now resistant to many insecticides. For effective pest control, it is absolutely necessary to identify the source of the problem, determine why the pest is present and modify its habitat. For example, since weeds tend to like soils that are compacted, the solution is not the temporary control achieved by killing them, but the adoption of practical strategies to make the soil less attractive to the weeds.
AB1006 critics also
claim school pesticide applications are nothing to worry about since
pesticides undergo testing by government agencies, and they are applied
at night when students and staff are not present. Firstly, EPA states
that no pesticide is considered "safe," despite testing. Furthermore,
pesticides present a risk no matter what time they are applied. Residues
can linger for hours, days and even months after an application is made.
It all depends on the type of chemical applied and the conditions that
may apply to its degradation. For example, airborne concentrations of
seven insecticides were tested three days following their application
in separate rooms. Six of the seven pesticides left residues behind
through the third day. A 1998 study found that Dursban (chlorpyrifos)
accumulated on furniture, toys and other absorbent surfaces up to two
weeks after application.