Rep. Jonathan Steinberg

March 8, 2011

Opposes Repeal of School Pesticide Ban

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg joined other lawmakers and advocates in speaking out today against an attempt to repeal the state’s ban on using pesticides on school grounds.

Jonathan Steinberg
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg speaking at the State Capitol against an attempt to repeal the state’s ban on using pesticides on school grounds.

"Children and pesticides are an unhealthy combination. Pesticide exposure, even at low levels, is harmful—especially for children,” said Steinberg. “We cannot yield to pressure from special interests and repeal a law that could jeopardize our children’s health.”

Connecticut passed legislation in 2007 banning the use of aesthetic pesticides on elementary and middle school grounds to protect children’s health. Last month, the legislature’s Planning & and Development Committee passed legislation (HB 5155) repealing the school ground pesticide ban.

Opponents of the pesticide ban claim that natural turf management does not work and want the legislature to mandate the use of integrated pesticide management (IPM) in place of the current pesticide ban. Under IPM, even the most toxic pesticides can still be used.

Steinberg noted that he favors legislation which would allow municipalities to institute stronger pesticide regulations than currently allowed under state law.

"We should be moving forward, protecting children, adults and animals from the dangers posed by pesticides and herbicides, not defending existing legislation which begins to do so," said Steinberg.

There is growing evidence that pesticide exposure adversely affect a child's neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems—even at low levels. Long-term exposure to pesticides has also been linked to cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg is serving his first term representing the 136th Assembly District in Westport. He sits on the legislature’s Aging, Energy and Technology, & Transportation Committees.

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