State Publication Explains New Pesticide Laws

Attorney General Spitzer today released a citizens guide to pesticide notification laws in New York.

The guide describes the new legal requirements for pesticide notification and includes a model county ordinance for county legislatures that are considering adopting county notification requirements.

Earlier this year, the New York State Legislature unanimously passed legislation that allows counties to adopt local pesticide notification laws. Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties have already adopted local pesticide notification laws. Similar measures have been introduced and are pending in a number of other county legislatures across the state.

"The public has a right to know about potential pesticide hazards so that they can take common sense precautions to protect themselves and their children from exposure to pesticides," Spitzer said. "Advance notice before a pesticide is used is a fair and reasonable requirement that can help prevent pesticide exposure."

Large quantities of pesticides are applied every year in New York State. State records reveal that in 1998, 4.5 million gallons and 29.4 million pounds of pesticides were applied by commercial applicators and sold to farmers statewide. Several pesticides commonly used in lawn care are classified as probable or possible carcinogens. Some of these and other pesticides are associated with a wide variety of other health problems including damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous and endocrine systems.

The "Citizens' Guide to Pesticide Notification Laws in New York State" is available by contacting the Attorney General's Office or on the Attorney General's website at: Other pesticide reports, including those on pesticide use in schools and county governments are also available on the website.