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From October 17, 2005                                                                                                           

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Protecting Kids from Exposure to Experimental Pesticides
(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2005)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill AB 405, a bill banning the use of experimental pesticides in California Schools. Current California law allows pesticide products that do not have full registration and outstanding data requirements to be applied on school sites.

AB 405, which is authored by Assemblymember Cindy Montanez and sponsored by California Safe Schools, a children's environmental health organization, is a common sense bill that prevents K-12 public schools from being used as test sites for experimental pesticides, and protects children, teachers and schoolworkers from being exposed to chemicals whose health effects are unknown.

According to California Safe Schools, Assembly Bill (AB) 405 would prohibit the use of experimental or new pesticides without full registration on school sites. Essentially, this bill would prevent school children and teachers from being exposed to experimental and/or insufficiently tested pesticide products. Additionally, AB 405 prohibits the use of pesticide products on school sites for which registration has been canceled, suspended, or marked for phase out of use.

"California Safe Schools is extremely grateful to Governor Schwarzenegger, Assemblymember Montanez, the California Legislature, and many supporters for ensuring that California's most vulnerable population will now be protected," said Robina Suwol, Executive Director of California Safe Schools, the bill's sponsor.

To their credit, Los Angeles Unified School District, second largest school district in the United States, have already committed to implementing the measures required by AB 405 and currently employ significant policies to protect students from chemical exposures.

"The fact that threshold levels of pesticide exposure and health studies are currently based solely on an adult male of approximately 160 pounds underscore that children are counting on adults to protect them. With the signature of AB 405, we have taken a step toward fulfilling that responsibility," Suwol said.

The bill's long list of endorsers included: California Medical Association, California State PTA, California School Boards Association, California Teachers Association, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Los Angeles Unified School District, Learning & Disabilities Association of America, California Communities Against Toxics, California Environmental Rights Alliance, Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, and the Environmental Health and the Environmental Justice Community.