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Santa Cruz Indymedia

Review :: Education & Youth

Schwarzenegger's Dilemma:

Sign A Bill Banning The Use Of Experimental Pesticides In Schools Or Cave In To Chemical Industry Lobbyists
VAN NUYS, CA. - Parents, students and community members, some traveling hundreds of miles to attend, gathered at Van Nuys High School Auditorium last week to hear a panel of celebrated experts in the field of children's
environmental health speak about the hidden dangers of pesticides, and to urge the passage of AB 405, legislation that will end the use of
experimental pesticides in K-12 public schools throughout California.

AB 405, is a common sense bill that prevents K-12 public schools from being used as test sites for experimental pesticides, and protects children, teachers and school workers from being poisoned by chemicals who health
effects are unknown. The bill authored by California Assemblymember Cindy Montanez, and sponsored by California Safe Schools, was passed by both the Senate and Assembly last session and continues to gain tremendous public
and political support.

AB 405 would prevent the use of chemicals on schools grounds that have incomplete data as required under current regulations. This missing data typically includes information about metabolic impacts, mechanistic properties, the fate of residue, risk assessment, efficacy, leaching, stability, receptor dosage, application, and resistance studies.

Experts confirmed in great detail that AB 405 does not financially impact school districts, the state of California, or industry, and continues to allow the use of hundreds of products that might be necessary to respond to
any health or safety emergency from pests in schools.

Panelist included: Dr. Harvey Karp,internationally celebrated pediatrician
and author, Actor and Environmentalist Ed Begley Jr, Boardmember Julie Korenstein, of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Mitzi Shpak, a
Caltech Microbiologist (Genetics), Diana Dixon-Davis of the PTA, Adrian Martinez of the Natural Resource Defense Council, and Rangell Oruga, American Lung Association of Los Angeles

Innovative Visuals :
Diana Dixon Davis, representing the PTA displayed three mock-up bottles of products that under current law can legally be used on school campuses. She asked, "Governor, which of these experimental products would you like sprayed
on your children?"

Another favorite was a large 7 ft. rat standee which read: Kids & Teachers Are Not Lab Rats! Cut-outs in the rat faces, allowed students and
teachers to don rat noses, and photographed as billowing smoke flowed all around.

Jackie Cambas a parent who has been following the AB 405 legislation commented: "Who's kidding who? Experimental & Conditionally registered pesticides are the same! When health effects studies are missing for these
chemicals , we are all lab rats and guinea pigs for the chemical industry. Our Governor plays characters who protect children on the big screen. I hope and pray he protects the more than 6 million kids, and hundreds of thousands
of teachers and school employees who are impacted by this loophole in current law."

Supporters include the California Medical Association, California Teachers Association, California School Boards ssociation, California State PTA,Learning Disabilities Association of California, Los Angeles Unified School District, United Teachers of Los Angeles, American Lung Association of Los Angeles, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Organic Consumers, Sierra Club, and the Environmental Health & Environmental Justice community.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
email: governor (at)

For futher information:
Robina Suwol
Executive Director
California Safe Schools
Box 2756
Toluca Lake, California 91610
email: schoolipm (at)

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