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How many pesticides are being used in your child’s daycare centre? PDF Print E-mail

ImageA new report from the US has confirmed that children are exposed to a number of different pesticides on a daily basis while attending daycare.

“Research at 168 facilities across the United States has found that millions of young children are being unwittingly exposed to pesticides while attending day care. Researchers asked facility managers about their pesticide usage, wiped samples from indoor surfaces like floors and tables, and took soils from outdoor play areas. These samples were tested for 39 pesticides. Every day care center tested positive for residues of at least one pesticide, an unsurprising result in light of the fact that 63% of all day care managers reported that up to 10 different pesticides were applied at their facilities. Organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides were found most often. The findings indicate a need for parents to discuss pesticide policies with their day care providers and insist on a precautionary approach.”

Ref: Pesticide Measurements from the First National Environmental Health Survey of Child Care Centers Using a Multi-Residue GC/MS Analysis Method
Nicolle S. Tulve, Paul A. Jones, Marcia G. Nishioka, Roy C. Fortmann, Carry W. Croghan, Joey Y. Zhou, Alexa Fraser, Carol Cave, and Warren Friedman
Environ. Sci. Technol.; 2006; 40(20) pp 6269 - 6274

Countless  pesticides are also used in Australian day care centres. In some instances parents have reported that centres are sprayed regularly and even as often as every 3 months, which is clearly over-kill. There are no government policies which restrict the use of hazardous pesticides around children. We'd like to find out from you what's happening at your day care centre and we'd also like to encourage centres to move away from using hazardous pesticides by adopting common sense approaches to pest management. To find out more on low hazard pest management see the Safer Solutions online book Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Child Care Centres .

Here's some questions to help you find out what's being used at your child's day care centre:

  1. Ask what pest control is undertaken, how often and what pesticides are used
  2. Ask staff if they use pesticides, for example, in the kitchen.
  3. Ask which products they use.
  4. Ask what insect repellents are used.
  5. Tell your child’s daycare centre about the Safer Solutions website where they can download the Safer Solutions booklet on Integrated Pest Management for Schools and Childcare Centres.
Please email us and let us know what you discover. We aim to compile this information to lobby government to make sure hazardous pesticides are not used around children in day care centres. NB Privacy is assured and we will not identify any individuals or day care centres in the information.
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