Utne Blogs > Environment

Pesticides Plague Schools

by Cally Carswell 


Tags: Environment, pesticides, public health, Healthy Schools Act, pesticide laws, Sacramento News and Review, Robina Suwol,

It’s no news that pesticides pose health risks, particularly to children. So why are they being sprayed liberally on school grounds?

Concerned parents in California have been asking that question for some time, according to the Sacramento News and Review. And while they’ve made significant headway—curbing pesticide use at some schools, getting spraying to be done during off hours, and making schools’ use of weed killers much more transparent—pesticide applications at most schools persist.

The News and Review highlights the recent efforts of parents at one Sacramento school, where students tend their own organic garden, to rid the campus of pesticides, and also points to the work of Utne visionary Robina Suwol. Suwol’s work helped prompt the Los Angeles Unified School District to approve the strictest rules restricting pesticide use in the country, which in turn ushered through passage of California’s Healthy Schools Act, giving parents the right-to-know about pesticide use at their children’s schools.