New York Schools Go Pesticide-Free...Every One

A new law in New York passed by the Assembly and Senate and just signed by the Governor prohibits chemical pesticides on all school grounds.

"(Port Washington, NY) Grassroots Environmental Education, a New York not-for-profit organization, has a mission to educate the public about the links between common environmental exposures and human health problems. That mission just became easier in New York State with the Governor's signing of the Child Safe Playing Fields Act, which bans the use of chemical pesticides on all school grounds at both public and private schools.

 "This raises awareness of the important issue of turf pesticides and their potential harmful effects on children to a whole new level," says Patti Wood, Executive Director of Grassroots, and the author of the ChildSafe School Program that advocates for the elimination of aesthetic pesticides at schools nationwide. "Our Governor and legislators have used the power of their offices to put New York State firmly out front in the battle to remove toxins from our environment and protect our most vulnerable citizens."

 "We’ll never have 100% evidence that a particular chemical exposure has caused a toxic injury," says Dr. Leo Trasande, pediatrician and Co-Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, "but we have a responsibility to our children to prevent toxic exposures so that they don’t carry the burden of disease in the future. This legislation begins to fulfill that responsibility, and I applaud the leadership of New York State for taking this historic step forward."

Grassroots recently issued a report on the comparative costs of natural vs. chemical turf management (www.grassrootsinfo.org/turfcomparisonreport.pdf), which showed that natural turf management could cost significantly less. The report was widely credited with helping to convince legislators to support the measure.

Grassroots has also committed itself to help train turf managers across the state in the science of natural turf management. The organization is currently planning a series of training workshops across the state featuring nationally-recognized natural turf expert Charles ("Chip") Osborne."



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