Families Against Cancer & Toxics

Stop cancer before it starts

September 16, 2009


Experts agree that children are more vulnerable to environmental health threats than adults. Unfortunately, some of these health threats are present in our schools. These threats include exposures to pesticides, diesel bus fumes, mold, poor indoor air quality, radon, toxic chemicals in cleaning supplies or art supplies, UV radiation, and lead in drinking water.

One mom reports, "My children attend public schools in Tucson and we frequently see the pesticide use warning placard posted. Recently the placard announced they would be spraying EVERY WEDNESDAY! How can I protect my kids from that?"

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The good news is that by implementing Integrated Pest Management techniques, it is very feasible to control pests while eradicating 90% of pesticides used.

University of Arizona IPM in Schools Arizona's bug experts are world renown!
Kyrene School District in Tempe is a model program.
EPA's IPM in Schools Kids face health risks from pesticides in schools.
Good overiew of IPM with factsheets and powerpoint presentations.
Beyond Pesticides - AZ information
The PAN Pesticide Database

Forum on Creating Environmentally Healthy Schools
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's Children's Environmental Health Project held the "Forum on Creating Environmentally Healthy Schools," on October 22, 2004. ADEQ Director Stephen Owens opened by mentioning that like so many AZ kids, his own child has asthma, and that he and Governor Napolitano are determined to improve environmental health for children in Arizona. Other speakers addressed school bus fumes, asthma, toxic land use, green school design, and pesticide reduction.

Healthy Schools Information/Groups
EPA Healthy School Environments
The Little Green Schoolhouse
Green Flag Schools
Healthy Schools
California Safe Schools
Oregon Enviromental Council
Children's Health Environmental Coalition

Diesel Exhaust
ADEQ and EPA are making great strides on reducing diesel emissions from school buses, which is a good thing because research shows that diesel emissions are very harmful to health.
ADEQ's bus idling program
Here are
some photos that illustrate what they are protecting our kids and all of us from!

Arizona's asthma rates are much higher than the national average, so the health and environment communities are working hard to reduce asthma and the suffering it causes.
School Asthma Allergy Arizona
The Arizona Asthma Coalition
ADHS - Asthma Control Program
Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics

Toxic Land Use
It is essential to build schools on land that hasn't had heavy industrial use. Angelo Bellomo from the Los Angeles Unified School District reported that if you owned contaminated piece of property in L.A. you were trained to sell it the school district, as "we didn't screen past land use, we gave full value, and we took on your liability." L.A.'s Belmont Learning Center was one of the schools featured in the report, Poisoned Schools.

Unfortunately, we have a frightening school situation righter here in Tucson.
Toxic metal beryllium found in Sunnyside High Arizona Daily Star, 3/9/2005.

UV exposure
Arizona has the second highest skin cancer rate in the world. See how schools can make a difference by encouraging sun safety in students.
EPA SunWise
The SHADE Foundation

Arizona School Groups
AZ Department of Education
AZ School Facilities Board
School Nurses Organization of Arizona
Arizona State PTA
AZ Federation of Teachers Union
Voices for Education

Other helpful groups
AZ Children's Action Alliance
Sierra Club in Arizona
Arizona Public Interest Research Group
Child and Family Resources
American Lung Association of Arizona/New Mexico
National Resources Defense Council

Schools moving to quit pesticides AZ Republic, 7/28/2005.

Acute Illnesses Associated With Pesticide Exposure at Schools JAMA, 7/27/2005.


Senate Bill 1350 requiring notification of pesticide use at child care facilities was signed into law by Governor on June 1, 2006. The measure requires that child care facilities use licensed applicators for pesticide application. Furthermore, it requires that a pesticide applicator notify a child care facility at least seventy- two hours in advance of any pesticide application and requires that the Department of Health Services work with child care facilities, personnel and the pesticide applicators to develop a policy to notify parents, guardians, children, and personnel at least forty-eight hours in advance of any pesticide application. Currently notification laws are in place for school-aged children attending schools, but not child care facilities. SB1350 requires that the licensees maintain written records for pesticide application notifications for at least thee years after the application.

Senate Bill 1009, on air quality in public schools was signed into law by Governor Napolitano on April 25, 2005. This bill was watered down by the legislators' amendments, but will make start in protecting Arizona schoolkids. It requires the School Facilities Board (SFB) to provide school districts with information on improving the indoor environmental conditions at least once every two years. It avoids building schools on contaminated property by prohibiting a site that cannot meet criteria established for residential properties. Finally, it requires that each school district governing board ensure that all of its HVAC equipment is maintained and operated properly.

General Information on Children's Environmental Health
ADEQ - Children's Environmental Health Project
EPA - America's Children and the Environment (ACE)
WHO - Children's Environmental Health
Protect All Children's Environment
Children's Environmental Health Network
Children's Health Environment Coalition
Families Against Cancer & Toxins


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