Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New York State's Child Safe Playing Fields Act

So we’re clear about the dangers of the pesticides used to beautify our public and private green spaces, this from Beyond Pesticides:
"Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogencity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system. Of those same 30 lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds."
Yet, egged on by the chemical companies, we continue to needlessly spray our lawns, playing fields and schoolyards. What will it take for us to realize this insanity, especially in regard to our children, whose developing brains and bodies are especially vulnerable to toxins?

Not all is bleak, though. A year ago, New York State, led by former Governor David Patterson, passed the Child Safe Playing Fields Act, which bans the use of synthetic pesticides on the playgrounds and playing fields of all of the state’s public and private schools and day care centers.

While the act went into effect last November for day care centers, the ban at schools starts next Wednesday (May 18). Similar bills, all vehemently opposed by the chemical interests, had been defeated on nine previous occasions. The passed bill, though, in a concession to guarantee its passage, allows for green areas not used as playgrounds or fields to be sprayed.

For an overview of the states’ policies in regard to pesticide use at schools, click here to read a 2010 report from Beyond Pesticides. No state has a law that completely protects our children, yet several states—New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts—have decent policies.

But shouldn’t banning all pesticide use in and around schools be the default national policy?

1 comment:

Oni said...

It should be the default national policy. But really people don't see it as a big deal, I remember a few years ago in 2007 before I became really aware of food and chemicals, I brought up the point of how carrying cell phones in your pocket kills sperm to my teammate's parents while we were in the car on our way to a soccer game and they basically said "It's not a big deal and people are living much longer these days so were not gonna worry on the little things".

That seems to be the mindset, if it's not going to cause harm right there on the spot, then no need to worry.

I was just about to put that at least one good thing comes out of astroturf other than lower maintenance fees is no chemicals, but a quick google search squashes that thought. It varies if there are less chemicals in astroturf than regular grass, but no pesticides.