Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Child Care Centers

Pesticides are routinely used in our schools and childcare centers, many times by personnel who are not registered pesticide applicators. There is little oversight of pesticide applications for these facilities in many states, but there is concern from a growing number of medical professionals, researchers, parents and federal and state agencies about the effects of exposing children to pesticides.

Peer reviewed studies tell us that exposure to pesticides is linked to birth defects, cancer, asthma and neurological and developmental effects. Children are much more susceptible to the effects of these chemicals because their bodies are still developing.

How can we protect our children in their schools and childcare centers? Educate decision makers about the hazards of pesticides and how to implement a pest control program that uses pesticides as a last resort. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a type of control recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health as well as scientists and advocates across the nation.

Dawn H. Gouge, urban entomologist with the University Arizona and co-editor of the Pest Management Strategic Plan for IPM commented, "Schools adopting IPM improve the learning environment of their students. With this come significant health benefits and the potential for higher academic achievement. School staff and faculty report cleaner, better maintained facilities and better communication within the school community."

Informed Green Solutions is a member of the Northeast School IPM Work Group.  Visit our website at http://www.northeastipm.org/working-groups/schools/ for practical how-to information on controlling pests in schools and child care programs. 
 

Websites for information and studies on children and pesticides:

Beyond Pesticides -  http://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/children-and-schools/overview

EPA Integrated Pest Management Webinars http://www2.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools/webinars-about-integrated-pest-management-schools http://www2.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools/webinars-about-integrated-pest-management-schools  http://www2.epa.gov/managing-pests-schools/webinars-about-integrated-pest-management-schools 

The IPM Institute of North America - http://www.ipminstitute.org/school_directory.htm