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Healthy People and Communities

NCAP works to protect people from exposure to pesticides by stopping harmful pesticide solutions and advancing ecologically sound alternatives.

The more we learn about pesticides, the more it appears that they are linked to serious health problems. Our program aims to safeguard community health by eliminating pesticide uses, and consequently, pesticide exposures.

In addition to providing technical information on pesticide risks and alternative methods for pest control, NCAP has projects specifically aimed at eliminating pesticide use in areas where people are most vulnerable.

Primarily, these are areas where children are at risk for exposure:  first environments, K-12 schools, public parks, and subsidized housing.

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Sustainable Places Information Network

Take the Pesticide Free Pledge

Schools, Pesticides & Children

For most of the year, kids are spending hours at school every day. That's one reason why it's important to design school environments that are healthy and safe. Unfortunately, unsafe pesticide use occurs at many of our nation’s schools.

A 2007 study of more than 29 school districts found that nearly half were in violation of legal requirements or policies relating to pest management. Outrageously, three districts still had illegal pesticides in storage, including DDT. The top five most frequently applied pesticides in schools and child care facilities were respiratory irritants and, therefore, asthma triggers.

Unthinkable Risk: How Children Are Exposed and Harmed When Pesticides are Used at School

Children's Health and Pesticides

IPM as a Solution

We believe the solution to this problem is to work with parents, teachers and school administrators to develop alternative ways for schools to meet their pest management challenges, thus reducing their pesticide use.     

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) emphasizes pest prevention and non-chemical pest control techniques. A recent project documented by the IPM Institute demonstrated that schools with quality IPM policies and practices have reduced pesticide use more than 90% while successfully managing pest problems.

In the summer of 2012, a law came into effect that requires Oregon schools to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans, emphasizing prevention and the use of "low-impact" pesticides in order to better protect children from adverse health impacts. Oregon's law also requires schools to notify parents and other members of the school community whenever pesticides are to be used.

This new requirement provides a perfect opportunity for Oregonians to to talk to their children's schools about pesticides. Download our School IPM overview to read more about this law, and learn some simple ways to reduce pesticide use at schools in your area.

Download School IPM Overview