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Can Children's Exposure to Pesticides be Reduced in the School Environment?

IPM and Your School

Cartoon of a scared mouse and cockroaches carrying their belongings and hitchhiking in front of a school

The public's concerns about health and environmental risks associated with chemicals are increasing, particularly when children are involved. As the public becomes more aware of the health and environmental risks pesticides may pose, its interest in seeking the use of equally effective alternative pest control methods increases. School administrators and other persons who have pest control decision-making responsibilities for school buildings and grounds should become aware of the pest control options available to them. It is in everyone's best interest to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has prepared this booklet to acquaint readers with Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a pest control method that may be an alternative to scheduled spraying of pesticides. Schools across the nation that have adopted such programs report successful, cost-effective conversion to IPM. IPM can reduce the use of chemicals and provide economical and effective pest suppression.

This information has been developed to encourage and assist school officials in examining and improving their pest management practices. It identifies ways to reduce dependence on pesticides in school buildings and landscapes and discusses alternative methods for managing pests commonly found in schools. School officials are not, however, required by law to adopt the practices recommended in this booklet.

All information provided in this information may be reproduced and can be shared with anyone interested in an IPM program.

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