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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release:
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
William Cooke, Director of Government Relations, 518-461-9947 (mobile), wcooke@citizenscampaign.org
Louis Burch, CT Program Coordinator, 203-503-1314 (mobile), lburch@citizenscampaign.org

COMMITTEE VOTES TO REPEAL HEALTH PROTECTIONS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN

Environmental group calls on General Assembly to SAY NO to repeal of school pesticide ban

(Hamden, CT) –In 2007, Connecticut passed historic legislation that banned aesthetic pesticides on K-8 school grounds. This common sense legislation was implemented in 2010, and now protects children from unnecessary exposure to toxic pesticides where they play the most—at school.

Abruptly, on Friday, February 24, 2012, the Planning and Development Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation to eliminate these critical protections. HB 5155, passed by a 12-3 vote, would repeal the K-8 school ground pesticide ban, eliminating important health protections for Connecticut school children. This ill-conceived legislation has passed out of committee and can be voted upon by the full CT General Assembly.

“Schools throughout Connecticut and the nation have demonstrated that they can eliminate the use of toxic pesticides while successfully and cost-effectively managing pest problems on school grounds,” said Lou Burch, CT Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Hundreds of Connecticut landscapers have been trained to manage turf without using toxic pesticides. Recent studies have also indicated that schools experience significant long term financial savings from eliminating their use of toxic pesticides.”

The growing body of peer reviewed scientific evidence indicates that pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child's neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine system, even at low levels. Long-term exposure to pesticides has also been linked to cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Health problems associated with short-term pesticide exposure include acute impacts, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, seizures and respiratory problems.

“Connecticut must not bring back the archaic practice of poisoning children at school! Citizens Campaign for the Environment is urging the Connecticut General Assembly to protect Connecticut’s children and say NO to repealing the pesticide ban.” said William Cooke, CCE Director of Government Relations. 

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  2/28/12