School pesticide ban

Opponents of pesticide use on school grounds received a boost recently. Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci signed a law that bans use of certain chemicals in schools and day-care centers, and requires notification of parents before any pesticide is used.

The ban is the most far reaching of statewide school pesticide laws. About 30 other states also have some form of regulation on the books.

Campaigns for tighter controls are in progress across the country. California advocates are lobbying for the Healthy Schools Act 2000, which would force districts throughout the state to adopt the "least toxic" pest-control programs that Los Angeles and San Francisco have implemented.

Similar large-scale campaigns are being waged in New York, Wisconsin, and the Northwest.

Environmental groups have suggested alternatives to eradicate weeds and pests. Options range from integrated pest management (IPM) programs to manually pulling weeds - California's Canoga Park High has given this task to students in the Environmental Science Magnet program.

For more information, check Web sites at www.ncamp.org, www.pesticide.org, or www.hsnet.org.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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