No More Pesticide Bans, Please

Livingston, NJ Wednesday, February 02, 2011

“There has been a Department of Environmental Protection in New Jersey since 1970,” said Leonard Douglen, Executive Director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association, “and professionals engaged in the safe use of EPA-registered pesticides have worked closely with it.”

The Association characterized the Safe Playing Fields Act, introduced by Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) as “a combination of chemophobia and ill-conceived lawmaking and it serves no one’s interest except the few people advocating it.”

“No school or day care center in New Jersey is treated while children and staff are in the structure,” said Douglen. “Lawn care procedures are similar to those of structural pest control because the safety and well being of our children comes first.”

The law would limit the application of pesticides to “emergencies” involving “an immediate threat to human health.”

“Surely ticks that can spread Lyme Disease and stinging insects pose a threat to health,” said Douglen. “Eliminating them under existing DEP regulations protects children’s health in school environments. Putting further limits on their use puts them at risk.”

“While our members address structural pest problems and do not generally engage in lawn care, the question must be asked why lawmakers think they can add a layer of alleged safety by passing one more law that would restrict already well-established safe practices.”

Douglen noted that the Association “has worked closely with the DEP over the course of forty years to develop and advocate safe practices for pest control in and around schools. “Our emphasis is on Integrated Pest Management,” said Douglen, “which involves the least amount of pesticide required to rid a structure of an existing or potential pest infestation.”

Integrated Pest Management is the national standard for pest control and includes an emphasis on regular inspections of properties to ensure insect and rodent pests do not gain access, as well as the least use of pesticides to address pest problems.

“The law,” said Douglen, “appears to be largely based on questionable claims that pesticide exposure is linked to asthma, cancer, learning disorders, autism, birth defects, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sen. Turner might as well write a law that protects children from a whole range of other common household chemicals such as detergents or toner for computer printers.”

“Common sense is required and the Safe Playing Fields Act does not meet even that standard.”

Leonard Douglen

Executive Director

New Jersey Pest Management Association

Livingston, NJ


via No More Pesticide Bans, Please.