Daily News Archive
From July 24, 2006
Exterminator Fine School District Adopts IPM Policy
According to the Roanoke Times, the office of pesticides at the VDACS found the technician used the pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Rhonda Bates, a VDACS spokesperson said the company has already paid the $4,500 fine.
Several parents contacted the school complaining that their children experienced headaches and other symptoms in the days following the incident. At that time, some of the parents were told that the children were exhibiting symptoms of the flu. School officials said that the absentee rates were normal on the days before and after the pesticide application, but parents removed their children from school after learning about it.
According to the Roanoke Times, the school system terminated its contract with National Exterminators, which had been in place for 18 years, following the incident. In June 2006, the Franklin County School Board approved an integrated pest management policy (IPM) for its district. Under the new policy contractors must submit a written form and receive permission from at least two school officials before they apply any pesticides. Steve Oakes, the Franklin County school system's director of facilities, said the system is currently accepting bids for a new contract. The new contract will likely be submitted to the school board for approval in August, he said.
In the absence of
national protections or standards for children, communities are taking
action to protect children from pesticide use in schools, by establishing
least-toxic pest management strategies through adoption and implementation
of state and local policies. Currently 33 state laws and over 400 school
districts have policies or programs regarding integrated pest management,
pesticide bans, and right-to-know. Virginia does not have a statewide
integrated pest management policy.