School Children Will No Longer Be Lab Rats for Chemical Companies
Contact: Bob Jimenez October 6, 2005
SACRAMENTO - Governor Schwarzenegger today signed legislation by Assemblymember Cindy Montaņez that will halt the use of experimental pesticides and herbicides on K-12 campuses.
The measure, AB 405, bill protects school children, teachers and workers from exposure by banning the use of experimental chemical products on K-12 campuses unless they have been fully tested.
Pesticides and herbicides contain toxic substances, including many that have a detrimental impact on human health, the environment and can have a developmental effect on children.
"With the Governor's signature, he recognized what we've been saying all along: Our students and school employees are not guinea pigs or test subjects for experimental pesticides and weed killers," said Montaņez (D-San Fernando). "Schools should be laboratories of learning, not test sites for chemical companies."
Los Angeles Unified School District officials have already committed to implementing the measures required by AB 405 and currently employ significant policies to protect students from chemical exposures.
"Aside from disrupting the immune and reproductive systems, kids can be impacted neurologically -- ironically harming their ability to learn in the institution they are sent to be educated," said Robina Suwol, Executive Director of California Safe Schools, the bill's sponsor. "The fact that threshold levels of pesticide exposure and health studies are currently based solely on an adult male of approximately 160 pounds underscore that children are counting on adults to protect them. With the signature of AB 405, we have taken a step toward fulfilling that responsibility."
The bill's long list of endorsers included the California Medical Association, California State PTA, California School Boards Association, California Teachers Association, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, LAUSD, Learning & Disabilities Association of America, Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, and the Environmental Health and Environmental Justice Community.