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Schools, day care centers must notify parents before applying pesticides

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) officials today reminded all parents and guardians of their right to be notified before the use of pesticides on school and licensed day care center property and the need for school officials to implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program if pesticide applications are made indoors at these facilities.

IPM uses all suitable techniques in a total management system to prevent pests from reaching unacceptable levels or to reduce existing pest populations to acceptable levels.

"One of the main objectives of IPM is to reduce any potential risk of pesticide exposure to children attending Michigan's schools and licensed day care centers," said Gina Alessandri, MDARD's pesticide and plant pest management division director. "The only pesticides exempted from notification are sanitizers, germicides, disinfectants, antimicrobial agents or baits and gels."

The school or licensed daycare facility administrator is responsible for providing annual, written notification of pesticide application information to parents or guardians. Schools must notify parents and guardians within 30 days after the beginning of the school year. Licensed daycare centers must notify parents and guardians in September.

Schools or day care centers must provide a 48-hour advance notice prior to a pesticide application. Annual notification of pesticide applications shall include designation of the commonly used primary entrances at which posting of pesticide application information is required.

The notice must be posted at entrance doors, and then a second notification can be made by one of the following methods.

  • Posting in a public, common area.
  • E-mail.
  • A telephone call (direct contact with a parent or guardian or a message recorded on an answering machine).
  • Providing students with a written notice to be delivered to the parent or guardian.
  • Posting on the school's or day care center's web site.

Parents or guardians also have the right to request to be notified by first-class U.S. mail. The notification must be postmarked at least three days before the application.

IPM program and notification requirements ensure all Michigan's schools and licensed day care centers are maintaining the highest standards for pesticide safety.

Additional information about IPM and pesticide notification is available on the MDARD web site at www.michigan.gov/mdard.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

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