Which state you live in matters for how well environmental laws protect your health
Your child could go to gym class on Monday morning and play soccer on a field that was sprayed over the weekend with 2,4-D, a toxic weedkiller that has been investigated as possibly causing cancer. Alternatively, the school grounds may have been treated with a lower-toxicity weedkiller. Or maybe the grounds were managed with safe, nontoxic products and techniques.
Which of these scenarios applies depends in large part on your state’s laws and regulations today – more so than federal regulations.
For example, Texas requires all school districts to adopt an integrated pest management program for school buildings; IPM prioritizes nonchemical pest control methods and includes some protections regarding spraying of grounds. Massachusetts also restricts pesticide use on school grounds. Illinois requires IPM for school buildings only if economically feasible. States also vary greatly in the education and technical assistance they provide to implement these practices.
The Conversation, 01-03-23