Parents Gain Right to Know About Toxic Exposures
Los Angeles, California - "Every parent in California who has a child in a public K-12 school has gained the right to know if their children are being exposed to pesticides.", said Robina Suwol, Executive Director of California Safe Schools.
The right is part of a policy first adopted by the Los Angeles Unified School District (2nd largest school district in the nation- 800,000 students) introduced by California Safe Schools (Non-profit) http://www.calisafe.org , an organization of more than fifty organizations committed to ensuring that all students, teachers, staff and community members who attend, work, or live near school sites are in a safe, toxic-free environment. The policy, titled Integrated Pest Management (IPM), pledged to implement least-toxic measures to control all pest management issues at the district's hundreds of schools. The LA Unified IPM Policy has become a model for school districts and communities nationwide.
"The policy mandates the use of preventative measures and least toxic methods first in schools. Only when preventative measures fail does the district turn to pesticides on the approved list. Pesticides on the approved list cannot contain products known to cause cancer, neurological disruption, birth defects, genetic alteration,reproductive harm, immune system dysfunction, endocrine disruption,or acute poisoning, which stops the routine use of the most hazardous pesticides in schools." added Suwol..
The success of the LA Unified Policy led to the California Healthy Schools Act 2000 which mandates all California parents be provided a list of pesticide products used at their child's school at the beginning of the school year that have been approved for use within their school district. Parents who wish advance notification of each pesticide application at their child's school will receive notification by completing the "Right to Know" form and sending it to the school principal.
Every parent knows that it is smart to keep children away from toxic chemicals." said Harvey Karp, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics. "That's why I salute California Safe Schools Coalition. The coalition has helped the Los Angeles Unified School district to adopt the best solution in the country for getting rid of pests while protecting children."
Brandon Stirling Baker, Van Nuys High Performing Arts Magnet student added, " Kids go to school to learn, not to get sick. I'm proud LA Unified was the first in the nation to include the "precautionary principle " , and great to know that now all California kids have the Right to Know about chemicals used in their schools. It's always better to be safe than sorry".
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CALIFORNIA SAFE SCHOOLS