Schools and Playgrounds

Despite children being more vulnerable to pesticides, they are often in situations with greater risk of exposure. In 2007, children outside a school in Strathmore, California collapsed in spasms due to a mist of pesticides from adjacent orange groves. In addition to use on fields and landscaping, pesticides are also used to protect the wood on playground structures. According to the Pesticide Action Network, of the 40 of the most commonly used pesticides in schools, 28 are possible carcinogens, 26 can cause reproductive effects, 26 damage the nervous system, and 13 cause birth defects. Because of these dangers to the health of children, laws have been passed in many states regulating how pesticides can be used in the proximity of schools. In 2009, the EPA has also released a plan to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides in schools. However, these are guidelines rather than requirements.