“The "Safe Playing Fields Act"; restricts use of lawn care pesticides at child care centers, and certain schools, playgrounds, and recreational fields.”

NJEA supports S-1143 (Turner, Gordon)/A-2412 (Wagner, Benson).  This bill, known as the “Safe Playing Fields Act,” would prohibit the use of lawn care pesticides on the grounds of any school (K-8), child care centers, parks and playgrounds, except as an emergency response to an immediate threat to human health.  Additionally, the bill would direct the adoption of regulations concerning pesticide application, record keeping, and staff and parental notification procedures with the goal of mitigating potential health risks to young children.

Research has shown that exposure to pesticides has had many negative health consequences for children ranging from developmental disabilities to cancer. This information alone should be a sufficient incentive to seek safer alternatives.

Children’s safety concerns education employees almost as much as it does parents.  That is why NJEA has a long history of advocacy on behalf of child health and safety issues.  Those operating education facilities must make every effort to assure that students and staff are not subject to environmental hazards while on school grounds. Reducing the children’s exposure to dangerous pesticides on playing fields is certainly a step in the right direction.

NJEA urges you to vote “yes” on S-1143/A-2412.