By educating parents and school employees about the risks we take when we choose to use pesticides, LocalMotion hopes to stimulate a trend toward reduced use of toxic chemicals. LocalMotion also presents schools and parents a healthy, safe, effective solution to pest control: integrated pest management.
Pesticide use in schools is of great concern for two reasons: first, children spend a large portion of their lives in schools; secondand more importantlygrowing children are more sensitive than adults to the effects pesticides have on the human body. In other words, the same chemical at the same dose will have a stronger impact on a child than on an adult because the child is smaller, and is still developing.
Many of the chemicals in pesticides have been shown to cause reproductive problems, brain dysfunction, nerve damage, organ damage, endocrine disruption, and/or immune system deficiencies. These effects create adverse learning environments for children and may cause serious long-term effects.
A study done by Dr. Elizabeth Guillette, et al. showing the effects of pesticide exposure in four and five year old children was published in 1998. Dr. Guillette and her colleagues compared two populations that were alike in every way except for their use of pesticides. The children from the pesticide-exposed group “demonstrated decreases in stamina, gross and fine eye-hand coordination, 30-minute memory, and the ability to draw a person.”
It is also important to remember that children are more heavily exposed to pesticides than the average adult. Children are closer to the floor where chemicals can get trapped in carpeting; they often put their hands or other objects in their mouths; pound for pound they eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air, thus bringing a greater volume and number of chemicals into their bodies. Any and all reductions to a child’s exposure to toxic chemicals are of benefit.