LA Unified School District Parents Gain Right to Know of Toxic Exposure

Parents Must Request Written Notice of Pesticide Application


Robina Suwol (818) 785-5515

LOS ANGELES (October 14, 2002) -- Every parent has gained a right to know of pesticide application to which their children may be exposed if they are enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District. At the beginning of the school year, parents are given a list of pesticide products that have been
approved for use at LAUSD sites. Parents who wish advance notification of
each pesticide application at their childs school will receive
notification by completing the Right to Know form and sending it to the
school Principal. Notification exceptions may occur under emergency
circumstances that warrant an immediate response.

This right is part of a new policy adopted by LAUSD introduced by
California Safe Schools. Called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) the
policy pledges to implement least-toxic measures to control all pest
management issues at LAUSDs hundreds of schools. The policy has become a
model for school districts and communities nationwide.

"As a parent, I am so grateful to California Safe Schools and LAUSD for
their hard work in finding the least toxic and yet effective methods for
controlling pests and weeds in our schools; for including parents and
staff in the decision making process; and for the right to know about
potentially harmful applications of pesticides/herbicides near our kids!
says Jenny Barsumian Brady, a Parent Representative for CSS.

Past failure to notify parents spurred the formation of CSS and its
campaign to get the school district to adopt the new policy. CSS Executive
Director Robina Suwols children walked through a toxic cloud at Sherman
Oaks Elementary School one morning in 1998. The exposure resulted because
an LAUSD gardener, in a white hazardous materials suit, arrived late to
spray the herbicide Princep, which can cause serious health effects in
human exposures, particularly in children, whose developing body systems
may be more vulnerable than those of adults.

California Safe Schools is a project of Community Partners. CSS is
committed to ensuring that all students, teachers, staff and community
members who live near these school sites are in a safe, toxic-free


For more information, contact:

Robina Suwol, Executive Director

California Safe Schools

Tel: 818-785-5515


Web site:

AMP Section Name:Food and Agriculture
  • 181 Food and Agriculture

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