Notification of Pesticide Applications in Schools

  • The school must provide written notice to staff and parents or guardians, at the beginning of each school year (or within one week of a student's enrollment), informing them that:
    • pesticides may be used at school facilities or on school grounds throughout the school year;
    • the school is required to maintain a list of staff and parents who wish to receive 48 hours' advance written notice of pesticide applications, with instructions on how to register to receive such notice; and
    • inquiries for more information should be directed to a particular school contact person at a specified telephone number.
  • Three times a year, following winter and spring recesses and the end of the school year, the school must provide written notice to all staff and parents informing them of the date, location and product used for each pesticide application at the school since the last notice. This notice must again state that the school is required to maintain a list of staff and parents who wish to receive 48 hours' advance written notice of pesticide applications, provide information on how to register for such notice and how to obtain more information about the pesticides used, and provide the name and number of a school contact.
  • At least 48 hours prior to the application of a pesticide at a school facility, the school must provide written notice to those who have requested it, including the specific date of application and two rain dates, if applicable, and the product name and EPA registration number of the pesticide being applied. The notice must contain language encouraging the parent to discuss with the school representative the precautions being taken to protect children from exposure, the name and number of the school representative, and the numbers of pesticide information services that can provide information and warnings from the labels of the pesticides being applied.
  • The prior notice requirements do not apply to:
    • applications of anti-microbial products (disinfectants), biopesticides or substances exempt from federal pesticide regulation;
    • use of pesticides in aerosol cans for personal protection;
    • use of nonvolatile rodent and insect baits in tamper-resistant containers or areas inaccessible to children;
    • use of silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use paste foam or gel insecticides in areas inaccessible to children;
    • use of boric acid and related compounds;
    • emergency applications to protect against an imminent threat to human health (which must be immediately reported to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health); and
    • applications after which the facility will be unoccupied for at least 72 hours.
  • The State Education Commissioner is required to establish a procedure for parents to notify the state of any school's failure to comply with these requirements, and school aid can be withheld where a school is found not to have complied.

    At the end of this Guide is a sample letter to send to the principal of your child's school requesting 48-hour advance notice of pesticide applications at the school. You can photocopy this sample letter, including the appropriate information, and mail it to your school, or compose your own letter.

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