Illinois—School Policies


I. Restricted Spray Zones Around School Property


Pesticides move off the target site when they are sprayed, whether inside or outside. When sprayed outside pesticides drift on to nearby property resulting in off target residues. Buffer zones can eliminate exposure from spray drift on to school property. As a result, states require buffer zones around schools. In order to adequately protect against drift, buffer zones should, at a minimum, be established in a 2 mile radius around the school’s property. Aerial applications should have a larger buffer zone, at least 3 miles encircling the school. Buffer zones should be in effect at all times of the day. It is especially important for spray restrictions to be in place during commuting times and while students and employees are on school grounds.

State Information

The state of Illinois does not have any statewide requirements for restricted spray zones around school property.

II. Posting Notification Signs for Indoor Pesticide Applications


States use different approaches in providing school pesticide use information to parents, students and staff. Some forms include the posting of notification signs and/or the distribution of notices directly to the affected population. Posted notification signs warn those in the school when and where pesticides have been or are being applied. This is a vehicle for basic right-to-know if the posting occurs in an area where it is easily seen by parents, students and staff. It is important to post signs for indoor pesticide applications because of the extensive period of time students and school employees spend at school. Signs posted prior to commencement of the pesticide application, not after, are more protective. The prior notification system effectively enables people to take precautionary action. Because of the residues left behind after an application, signs should remain posted for at least 72 hours. It takes time for pesticides to start breaking down and some pesticide residues can least for weeks. Signs should also be posted at all main entrances of the building and the specific area sprayed, on the main bulletin board, and, for more comprehensive notification, in the school newspaper or on the daily announcements. Posted signs should state when and where a pesticide is applied, the name of the pesticide applied and how to get further information, such as a copy of the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the product(s) label.

State Information

The state of Illinois does not have any statewide requirements regarding posting notification signs for indoor pesticide use.

III. Posting Notification Signs for Outdoor Pesticide Applications


For a wider range of protection, states should require posting pesticide notification signs for outdoor pesticide applications as well. Students who play sports or people continually on the lawns represent a high risk when applications occur on school property. Dermal exposure can occur when a football player gets tackled, a soccer player slides to make a block or a student sits on the grass to eat lunch or watch a game. Inhalation exposure can occur when a player breathes in kicked up dust and dirt and pesticide residues. Even spectators at a game or passersby face inhalation exposure to pesticides that volatilize or vaporize off the treated area.

State Information

Illinois Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act, chapter 415 section 65/3 of the Illinois Complied Statutes, requires an “applicator for hire” to post signs when applying pesticides to turf or ornamentals. The sign may be removed the following day.

IV. Prior Written Notification


Written notification of pesticide use is a good way to make sure that all parents, children and staff are aware and warned of pesticide use in the schools. Limited notification-based registries is a less effective means of notifying people and does not qualify as right-to-know because of its limited scope. Requiring that individuals place themselves on registries, sometimes only with a doctor’s letter, afford only those who already know about toxic exposure the opportunity to be informed about pesticide use in the school. Prior notification should be 72 hours in advance to make sure the information has been received, to get further information regarding the pesticide and to make arrangements to avoid the exposure, if necessary. Notification should include the name of the pesticide(s), a summary of the adverse health effects listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and label, the day and time, and area of the application and how to obtain a copy of the MSDS and label.

State Information

Illinois requires schools to decide if they want to establish a parent registry or universal notification, with a 48 hour advanced notice.

V. Prohibitions on Use


Limiting when and what pesticides are applied in and around schools is important to the reduction of pesticide exposure. Pesticides should never be applied when students or employees are in the area or may be in the area within 24 hours of the application. In reality, certain types of pesticides, such as carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, neurotoxins, persistent compounds and substances, bioacc umulative compounds and substances, toxicity category 1 acutely toxic pesticides and ground water contaminants should not be used around children.

State Information

The state of Illinois has no state laws restricting pesticide use in schools.

VI. Integrated Pest Management


A good integrated pest management (IPM) program can eliminate the unnecessary application of synthetic, volatile pesticides in schools. The main elements of a good IPM program include: 1) monitoring to establish whether there is a pest problem, 2) identifying the causes of the pest problem, 3) addressing the cause by changing conditions to prevent problems, 4) utilizing pest suppression techniques, if necessary, that are based on mechanical and biological controls and 5) only after non-toxic alternatives have been tried and exhausted, use the least toxic pesticide. An IPM policy should include a written policy guide and a prohibited and acceptable materials list. Material that could be considered after using other methods include boric acid and disodium octoborate tetrahydrate, silica gels, diatomaceous earth, insect growth regulators, insect and rodent baits in tamper resistant containers or for crack and crevice placement only, microbe-based insecticides, botanical insecticides (not including synthetic pyrethriods) without toxic synergists, and biological (living) control agents.

State Information

Illinois Structural Pest Control Act, section 235/3.25 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, has a very thorough definition of IPM. The act defines IPM as “a pest management system that includes the following elements: a) identifying of pests and their natural enemies; b) establishing an ongoing monitoring and record keeping system for regular sampling and assessment of pest and natural enemy populations; c) determining the pest population levels that can be tolerated based on aesthetic, economic, and health concerns, and setting action thresholds where pest populations or environmental conditions warrant remedial action; d) the prevention of pest problems through improved sanitation, management of waste, addition of physical barriers, and the modification of habitats that attract or harbor pests; 5) reliance to the greatest extent possible on nontoxic, biological, culturall or mechanical pest management methods, or on the use of natural control agents; 6) when necessary, the use of chemical pesticides, with preference for products that are the least harmful to human health and the environments; and 7) record keeping and reporting of pest populations, surveillance techniques, and remedial actions taken (225 ILL. COMP. STAT 235/3.25 (1997)). Section 235/10.2 of the Structural Pest Control Act requires the Department of Public Health to prepare IPM guidelines for school buildings and property. The schools are then encouraged to adopt these guidelines and have a designated person, a school employee, to oversee the implementation in the school. It also states that the Department of Public Health may develop a training program for the designated specialists. Also, each school is required to adopt an IPM only if it is economically feasible. The school district must provide written notification to the Illinois Department of Public Health if adoption is not economically feasible whereas the Department will make this information available to the public upon request.

Public Act 91-0099 state law requiring notification for pesticide applications to school grounds and other structures
Public Act 91-0525 state law establishing IPM programs in schools



Adlai E. Stevenson High School
IPM: After August 2000 the Superintendent decides if IPM is economically feasible, if not then the school will comply with the state's Structural Pest Control Act.
Prior Written Notification: Universal written notification to all students, staff and parents/guardians two business days before application, except in emergencies.
Contact:Adlai E. Stevenson High School, One Stevenson Drive, Lincolnshire IL, 60069. Phone: (847) 634-4000

Chicago Public School District
Date Passed: November 2001
IPM: Non-chemical methods of pest control shall be given preference over chemical controls. Least-hazardous chemical controls shall be given preference over other chemical controls.
Notification: See state law above.
School Contact: Office of the Board of Education, 125 South Clark Street 6th Floor, Chicago, ILL 60603.
Phone: (773) 553-1600, Fax: (773) 553-1601


Meadowview School (Community Consolidated School District #46)
Date Passed: Unknown.
IPM: The school's IPM policy states non-chemical methods of pest management shall be implemented whenever possible, and the full range of alternatives, including no action, will be taken. The choice of using a pesticide will be based on a review of all other available options. When it is determined a pesticide must be used, only the least hazardous material will be chosen.
Notification: See state law above.
School Contact: 565 Frederick Road, Grayslake, IL 60030. Phone: (847) 223-3650, Fax: (847) 223-3695


Other Schools with IPM/Notification Policies:
Alden Hebron
Bedford Park
Berkley School District 87
Bloom Township High School District 206
Bloomingdale School District 13
Blue Ridge Community Unit School District 18
Brooklyn Unit School District 188
Brownstown Community Unit School District 201
Buncombe Grade School #43
Burnt Prarie
Cambridge Community UnitSchool District 227
Central City School District 133
Central School District 104
Centralia High School District 200
Chester Unit School District 139
Chrisman Community Unit School District 6
Collinsville Community Unit School District 10
Community Consolidated School District 46
Cornell Community Consolidated School 426
Darien Public Schools
Deland-Weldon Community Unit School District 57
Delavan Community Unit School District 703
Dixon Public Schools 170
Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Durand School District 322
East Maine School District 63
Easton School District
East Peoria
Eldorado Unit School District 4
Community Consolidated School District 59
Eureka Community Unit School District 140
Evergreen Park School District 124
Ewing Grade School
Fisher Community Unit School District 1
Forest Ridge School District 142
Frankfort School District 157
Freeport School District 145
Grant Park Community Unit School District 6
Gridley Community Unit School District 10
Hamilton County Community Unit District 10
Harmony School District 175
Harrisburg Community Unit 3
Highland Community Unit School District 5
HinSchool Districtale
Homewood Flossmoor High School Dist. 233
Illini Bluffs Community Unit School District 327
Illiopolis Community Unit School District 12
Jasper Community Consolidated School District 17
Jasper County Community Unit School District 1
Jersey Community School District 100
Johnston City Community Unit School District 1
Kankakee School District 111
Kildeer Countryside School District 96
LADD CCSchool District 94
LaHarpe Community Unit School District 335
Laraway 70-C
Lawrenceville Community Unit School District 20
Lee Center Community Unit School District 271
Lemont-Bromberek Consolidated School District 113-A
Lincoln Community High School District 404
Lincolnshire-Prarie View School District 103
Litchfield School District 12
Lockport School District 205
Malden Commmunity Consolidated Grade School
Manheim School District 83
Millstadt Consolidated School District 160
Mount Vernon School District 201
Mundelein School District 75
Naperville School District
Nelson Elementary School District 8- Lee Co.
North Chicago District 187
North Wayne Unit School District 200
Oakdale Community Consoildated School District 1
Oakland Community Unit School District 5
O'Fallon Community Consoildated School District 90
Olympia School District
Ottawa Township High School
Our Lady of Destiny/ Thomas Jefferson Charter School
Panhandle School District 2
Plano Community Unit School District 88
Pleasant Plains Community Unit School District 8
Princeville Community Unit School District 326
Prospect Heights School District 23
Rich Township District 227
Redding School District
Region No. 9 School District
Robinson Community Unit School District 2
Rochester Community Unit School District 3-A
Rockton School District 140
Roxana Community Unit School District 1
Salt Creek School District 48
Seneca High School
Sesser-Valier School District 196
Shiloh Village School District 85
Skokie School District
South Berwyn School District 100
Southern Community Unit School District 120
St. Rose School District 14-15
Steelville Community Unit 138
Streater Elementary School District 44
Taylorville Community Unit School District 3
Thompsonville Districts 62 & 112
Thorton Township High School District 205
Tonica Grade School 79
Tower Hill Community Unit School District 6
Tri-Point Community Unit School District 6-J
Triopia Community Unit School District 27
Troy 30-C
Valley View Community Unit School District 365-U
Virden Community Unit School District 4
Wayne City Community Unit District 100
West Pike Community Unit School District 2
Willow Grove 46
Woodlawn Grade School District 4
Woodlawn High School 205
Yorkwood Community Unit School District 225


Safer Pest Control Project
25 E. Washington, Suite 1515
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 641-5575
Safer Pest Control Project Survey: results of 2001 survey of IPM in Illinois schools
1999 Legislation Reforming Pesticide Management Practices in Illinois Schools

For more contacts for local organizations, visit our Links to Local Organizations.



For more information contact
Beyond Pesticides, 701 E Street, S.E., Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20003, [email protected]