by Sarah Larsen
I am in support of using as little pesticides as possible and avoiding
them when unnecessary. The HB399 bill is a good bill that sets out to
restrict pesticide application in places where children work and play, but
needs to be more specific regarding certain issues. If I had to vote on
HB399, I would vote to enact it because I believe ‘better safe than sorry’
and we should protect children in particular from as many possible toxins as
possible as they are still developing.
I personally believe that the scientific evidence supporting the fact
that pesticides can cause both environmental and health effects is reason
for concern when it comes to human and environmental health. Pesticides
should be used only in emergency situations especially when children are
involved. Pesticides are chemicals made to kill and they don’t just target
one species, they attempt to kill any species. Just the fact that people who
spray pesticides have to be fully protected to be sure they don’t inhale any
chemicals or get it on their skin is a red flag. If pesticides were so harmless,
would there really be a need for suits and strict regulations during
application? The World Health Organization states that there are 3 million
cases of pesticide poisoning and approximately 220,000 deaths per year due
to pesticide exposure (Breaking News). Exposure to pesticides has been
shown to cause hormone issues, reproduction issues, reduced motor skills,
skin issues, etc. Although pesticides are useful in food production and pest
control management, I feel that the risks outweigh the benefits of applying
Although pesticides are toxic to adults, because children are smaller
and are still actively developing physically as well as mentally, the effects of
pesticides can have larger and longer lasting effects. Because of this, I don’t
believe that pesticides should be sprayed when there is no immediate threat
to safety- especially when children are involved.
HB399 aims to reduce the amount of pesticides applied to any areas
where children “learn and play” except in emergencies with proper
notification. This is important because if a pesticide were needed to be
sprayed to protect children’s immediate health and/or safety in a
play/learning area a notification would need to be sent out. Parents would
have the ability to be notified which gives parents the freedom to choose
whether they want to expose their children to a specific pesticide.
Given the good intentions of the bill- protecting children from possible
immediate and future effects to a pesticide toxin, I think there is room for
clarification in the bill. I believe there has to be more organization at the
town level when it comes down to who is responsible for notifying families
in situations that involve emergency pesticide application in an organized
outdoor sports area or community athletic field. Also, what/who determines
a pest is a large threat enough to apply pesticides needs to be more clear.
Although overall, HB399 is a good bill that aims to protect the safety
of children from toxins and think it is a bill that would be beneficial to
“Breaking News.” Effects of Pesticides on Human Health, Toxipedia, 6 May
Students and faculty from classes on Environmental Governance and Environmental Law at Keene State College are the authors of these posts. We also invite guest authors when appropriate.
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