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California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Front Page

Sun May 4 2014
Groundbreaking Report Finds High Rates of Pesticide Use Near Monterey County Schools
Sun May 4 2014
California Releases First-Ever Report on Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools
A new report documents, for the first time, widespread pesticide use near California schools, including in Monterey County. Many of the pesticides profiled are used in large amounts and linked to impacts on children’s health and learning. A coalition, which includes Californians for Pesticide Reform and the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, has called for reforms in addressing pesticide use to protect children in Monterey County.

Monterey County had the highest percentage of schoolchildren attending schools located within ¼ mile of the heaviest use of highly hazardous pesticides, according to the California Department of Public Health (DPH) study. More than a quarter (25.1%) of schoolchildren (18,525) in Monterey County attended schools within ¼ mile of the most highly hazardous pesticide use. Over 46% of the county’s schools were located within ¼ mile of the most highly hazardous pesticide use. Monterey County schoolchildren were among the most at risk statewide, with the highest percentage of students (19.5%) near the use of carcinogenic pesticides, the highest percentage of students (22.1%) near the use of reproductive and developmental toxicant pesticides, the highest percentage of students (16.4%) near the use of fumigant pesticides, the highest percentage of students near Toxic Air Contaminants (18%) and the highest percentage of students (24.7%) near the use of pesticides prioritized for assessment and monitoring.

The detailed report Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools in California was posted to CDPH’s website on Friday afternoon with little fanfare. The rigorous analysis shows that difficult-to-control pesticides, linked to negative impacts on children’s health and learning, are widely used near schoolchildren in fifteen of the state’s counties. This is the first time an analysis of pesticide use near schools has been conducted in California.

pdfRead More | Californians for Pesticide Reform | Monterey Bay Central Labor Council