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The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric OncologyTM The Dangers
of Pesticide Use in Schools:
Know What They Are and How to Minimize Them for the Health of Your Children
Research Building Room 240 • Hackensack University Medical Center 30 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 Telephone: (201) 336-8071 Facsimile: (201) 336-8161 The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center
for Pediatric Oncology
Goals of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology
The goal of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology is twofold:To enhance health by educating our children, their parents, and the public at largeabout the carcinogens and other environmental factors that occur all too commonly inour lives…and to serve as a voice that can realistically help shape the policy decisionsthat impact our environment and our well being. Regrettably, it is children who are the most vulnerable to many environmental insults.
In fact, statistics and studies have shown a 30 percent increase in various cancers in children resulting from their exposure to toxins in our environment. For example,researchers have discovered a direct connection between the development of leukemiain children whose parents were exposed to various pesticide products. Similarly,studies have revealed a disturbing increase in the occurrence of brain tumors inchildren exposed to many common pesticides found in the home. And asthma,blamed for six percent of school absenteeism and now the most chronic childhooddisorder, often has its roots in environmental agents.
Hackensack University Medical Center, The DON IMUS-WFAN Pediatric Center forTomorrows Children, part of The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and TheDavid Joseph Jurist Research Center for Tomorrows Children provide us with a specialopportunity as we reach for these objectives. With their support, we can combineepidemiology's very latest research data, trends and curative advances with anability to quickly disseminate critical information to the public, government agencies,and our most influential health institutions. We believe our circumstances uniquely position us to help. We are convinced that we can.
For more information please call The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at (201) 336-8071 or visit us online at dienviro.com.
School Days
Make them safe and healthy for your child
In general, parents recognize the lasting impact school days can have on their
children – the joy of playing with classmates and participating in school activities.
School makes a lifelong impression on each of us, because it is the most significanttime in our lives when we can enjoy freedom and growth. Unfortunately, most parents don’t realize how easily these happy days can bereplaced by tears for youngsters who become ill and sometimes suffer permanentphysical or developmental damage as a result of exposure to pesticides released inschools, and on school grounds, to control rodents, insects, and unwanted plant life. The good news is, through careful pest control planning, we can ensure that schooldays leave the impression they were intended to leave on our children. There aremany alternative products and practices that effectively control pests, without theharmful side effects. This booklet provides information on the illnesses that can occur in children exposed topesticides, the reasons why pesticides are so dangerous to children, and the ways thatparents can work with schools to make them safe havens for learning and growing.
The Problems
Pesticides can cause many illnesses in your child

Pesticides are basically chemicals designed to repel, control, or kill insects, plants, weeds,rodents, and germs. Because of their inherent toxicity, and widespread use, they are aserious threat to all who enter school, particularly students.
For many years, pesticide use in our schools has been standard practice. Manyschools spray at regular intervals, regardless of whether current infestations warrantsuch aggressive action.
Studies suggest that such practices can cause, or exacerbate many illnesses in children,including cancer and asthma. Other illnesses include: The Problems
Pesticides can cause many illnesses in your child (continued)

Chemicals commonly found in pesticides, that are known to cause endocrine andreproductive problems, include: Plant killers
Fungus killers
Insects killers or insecticides
or herbicides:
or fungicides:
The Reason
Why are children so susceptible to these toxins?
The effects of pesticide exposure can be significantly more dangerous in children than
adults because of certain biological and behavioral factors.
Children are often at greater risk of suffering serious consequences because:
• Per pound of body weight, they take in larger amounts of pesticides than adults. These toxins enter their bodies through breathing, ingesting, and direct contact with the skin.
• Since pesticides are usually heavier than air, high concentrations hover near the ground, right in a small child’s breathing space.
• A child’s developing immune system is less equipped to ward off pesticides.
• An immature immune system sometimes fails to fight off the toxic effects of pesticides because it mistakenly treats the toxin as a naturally-occurring enzyme or hormone.
• Rapid growth and splitting of cells that occurs during childhood allows dangerous cell mutations to multiply.
• Children tend to play on floors and near small cracks and crevices that are often targets for pesticide applications.
• Poor hand-washing practices, and a child’s tendency to put objects in his/her mouth provides an opportunity for pesticides to enter the body.
• Children are unable to read or grasp the meaning of warning signs on The Solution:
Learn how you can keep your children safe from pesticide poisoning

In order to minimize exposure to pesticides in children and school personnel, manyschools are adopting an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to pest control. IPM is a collaborative effort between parents, teachers, administrators, cafeteria work-ers, and even the students that has proven to be an effective method of managing pestinfestations in school buildings, and on school grounds, without the need for pesticides. The goal of an IPM is to prevent infestations and to deal with existing outbreaks withnon-toxic agents and practices that make the school environment hostile to pests, butnot humans. IPM is superior to traditional pest management because it addresses theorigins and characteristics of each species of pest infestation. In addition to beingsafer and equally, if not more, effective, the program is often less expensive.
INCLUDE LAWN CARE IN INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
When implementing an IPM, it is essential to include outdoor play areas, and all school
grounds, since children spend a considerable amount of time outside for recess, gym
and other activities. Pesticides used to kill weeds and promote attractive landscaping
have been linked to many childhood illnesses, including cancer and birth defects. After
playing outside, these toxins are tracked into the facility on the children’s shoes, where
they pollute the air, especially in carpeted areas. The toxins are designed to decom-
pose under certain outdoor conditions that are not present indoors, so their damaging
effects last longer once they invade the classrooms and other areas inside the facility.
The best course of action in the treatment of outdoor plant life is to choose the leasttoxic solution – weeds are a lot easier to live with than the suffering of children.
The Solution:
Learn how you can keep your children safe from pesticide poisoning (continued)

For pest control, particularly if you have a problem with deer, try a garlic spray onyour lawn and garden. Plant fungus can be treated with an environmentally friendlysubstance called neem oil. These products can be purchased online through organicgardening suppliers.
SCHOOL IPM IS BUILT ON THE FOLLOWING KEY COMPONENTS:
MONITORING
Monitor the facility to identify the types of pests present and to determine if the
infestation is severe enough to require action. Suggested monitoring techniques
include arranging a visit from a trained professional (with no vested interest in selling
pesticides), to inspect the facility, and interview school occupants. Another effective
technique is to set traps at strategic locations throughout the facility.
RECORD-KEEPING
Accurate documentation over a period of time can help identify infestation trends and
aid in predicting characteristics of future infestations.
• Tracking the number of pests present• Pinpointing the location of the outbreak (lunchrooms, etc.)• Recording the dates when pests are spotted in order to track the time of year future infestations are likely to occur, to prepare for future outbreaks.
ACTION PLAN
• Create Action Threshold – It is important to recognize that no facility can be completely free of pests. The IPM team should determine how many members of The Solution:
Learn how you can keep your children safe from pesticide poisoning (continued)

the particular species must be present to consider them an infestation that poses a threat to the health of school inhabitants. • Develop a Course of Action – Determine the actions that need to be taken if the number of pests exceeds the action threshold. • Attempt to remove the pest physically first, with a fly swatter, vacuum cleaner with • Create a hostile environment for the targeted pest: ▲ Clean up spills and other messes with non-toxic cleansers ▲ Stuff steel wool and/or copper mesh into holes and crevices ▲ Caulk small holes, which can serve as entryways into the facility ▲ Repair leaks that can be used as a water source for pests ▲ Remove clutter to minimize hiding places and potential dwellings for pests ▲ Place all garbage in tamper-resistant containers until it is removed • Employ non-toxic pest removal practices: ▲ Try to control pests with sticky tape ▲ Introduce beneficial insects that feed on the targeted pest ▲ Utilize biological traps, like pheromone lures, and traps with other types of non-toxic lures. As an example, effective lures for rats and mice include peanut butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate.
The Solution:
Learn how you can keep your children safe from pesticide poisoning (continued)

• Use the least toxic pesticides as a last resort: ▲ If all other methods fail to bring the pest population below the action threshold, schools should use the least toxic pest control products, and confine their application to the infested area only. Examples of the least toxic pesticides include: ■ Diatomaceous earth - mineral remains of aquatic plants. The substance clings to insects and abrades them, which causes them to dehydrate ■ Nonvolatile, tamper-resistant baits for rodents or insects ■ Coffee grinds can be used along the border of a room to repel ants EVALUATION
After action has been taken to eradicate the pest, the facility should undergo routine
evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the new pest management techniques.
In some cases, integrated pest management may take longer to minimize pestoutbreaks than traditional methods. However, in the long run, they achieve the samedegree of success, without exposing children and school staff to pesticides.
CHECK YOUR SCHOOL FOR OTHER DANGERS AS WELL
Unfortunately, there are many other toxins that find their way into America’s schools.
The plastics used to make indoor and outdoor play equipment, and those used
to package and heat your child’s lunches may contain harmful chemicals.
Similar to pesticides, these toxins can cause cancer and endocrine disorders.
Check all products containing plastic for the recycling code to get more information
on its properties. Plastic recycling codes are triangular in shape, with a number from
1 to 7 in the middle. Avoid items with numbers 3, 6, or 7.
Following are descriptions of each type of plastic:
Description
1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET) Not determined to have any harmful properties.
2 High density polyethylene (HDPE) Not determined to have any harmful properties.
Often used in food containers and food wrap.
Suspected of causing cancer and other diseases.
Avoid using products with PVC whenever possible.
Not determined to have any harmful properties. Not determined to have any harmful properties.
Harmful chemicals can leach into foods and bever-ages in containers made from these products particu-larly foods with high fat content and alcoholic drinks.
Avoid using these products whenever possible.
This category includes plastics containing polycarbonate (PC), which is known to causeendocrine disorders. Avoid plastics of this type whenever possible.
Carcinogens
Following are names of ingredients that are suspected of causing cancer in humans:*

p-Chloro-o-toluidine and p-Chloro-o-toluidine Diepoxybutane Adriamycin® (Doxorubicin Hydrochloride) 2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) 2,2-bis-(Bromoethyl)-1,3-propanediol (Technical Grade) Dibenzo[a,l]pyrene Chlorinated Paraffins (C12, 60% Chlorine) 1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-cyclohexyl-1-nitrosourea 1,2-Dichloroethane (Ethylene Dichloride) Carcinogens (continued)
Following are names of ingredients that are suspected of causing cancer in humans:*
4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1- Lindane and Other Hexachlorocyclohexane Isomers 4-4’-Methylenebis(N,N-dimethyl)benzenamine 4,4’-Methylenedianiline and 4,4’-Methylenedianiline o-Toluidine and o-Toluidine Hydrochloride Michler’s Ketone [4,4’-(Dimethylamino)benzophenone] Phenacetin Nitrofen (2,4-Dichlorophenyl-p-nitrophenyl ether) *Excerpt from the Report On Carcinogens, Tenth Edition U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health
Service National Toxicology Program

Our Sources:
Information in this booklet was obtained from the following sources:

Beyond Pesticides
Natural Resource
Defense Council
New Jersey Environmental
Extremely Green
Federation and Clean Water Fund
Gardening Company
Safe2Use
The Green Guide Institute
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric OncologyTM Research Building Room 240 • Hackensack University Medical Center 30 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 Telephone: (201) 336-8071 Facsimile: (201) 336-8161 Designed and Printed at Tanagraphics, Inc.
Printed with environmentally friendly soy based inks. 2003

Source: http://www.dienviro.org/s950/images/pesticides.pdf

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