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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Concerning The Children and Families Protection Act (Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000) now part of the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act

Important: Regulations have not been promulgated regarding the implementation of the law pertaining to Children and Families Protection. Further, the answers to the questions below do not address every possible situation. This information has been developed and posted for your guidance only! If you are in doubt or simply need clarification regarding compliance concerning children's protection, contact our enforcement section prior to any pesticide treatment at 617-626-1781.

Click on a topic or scroll down
Aesthetic Pesticide Use Anti-Microbial Pesticides Athletic Fields
Baits and Gels Common Areas Effective Date of Legislation
Emergency Applications Emergency Waiver
Guidance and Form
Exempt Schools
Fertilizers General Definitions Golf Courses
Inert Ingredients IPM Plans Mosquito Control
Non-Compliance Outdoors use of pesticides Non-School Sponsored Activities
State Lead Agency Notification Parent Information
Private School with Farm Record Keeping Rodent Baiting Outdoors
School Property Step-by-Step approach to
determine compliance to the law
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Termite Treatments Trouble Shooting Charts Unique Situations

Aesthetic Pesticide Use

Who needs to give permission to use pesticides for aesthetic purposes on school grounds? What guidelines would this person or group use in making that determination?

Pesticides that are applied for aesthetic purposes on school grounds outdoor cannot be used unless the municipality, city or town approves or allows the use of pesticide products for purely aesthetic purposes on the outdoor school grounds. The department recommends that the chief-elected municipal official or body to make the decision of approval for the town. Principals and school superintendents will not be allowed to make this determination. Such a determination will need to be made in writing, on an annual basis. Applicators and schools should have a written copy of it in their records for any given year.

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Anti-microbial pesticides

There is increased concern for microbial contamination in school ventilation systems. Many HVAC contractors are using anti-microbial pesticides or sanitizers as a preventative without any known fungal or bacterial problem. Do you need to post and notify according to the law with these types of products?

Anti-microbial pesticides such as disinfectants or sanitizers are exempt from the law.

Are pool chemicals used in schools covered? Would an Integrated Pest Management Plan be required?

Pool chemicals are considered anti-microbial pesticides. Anti-microbial pesticides are exempt from the law. However, keep in mind that every school must adopt and implement an integrated pest management plan regardless of whether or not they use chemical pesticides that are exempt from the law.

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Athletic fields

Will the school provide notice that a treated area such as an athletic field will not be used for 5 consecutive days? The pest management professional should request from the school in writing a statement from the school regarding the status of such an athletic field prior to any outdoor use of pesticides.

What constitutes an athletic field that is considered "primarily" used for school managed activities, and would therefore be considered school property?

In order to determine if a property is used "primarily" for school controlled, managed, or sponsored activities, one needs to determine how many hours the property is used by school in relation to how many hours the property is used in total. For example, an athletic field used for soccer is owned by the town and is used for 30 hours a week total. The high school soccer team occupies that field for 20 of those 30 hours.

EXAMPLES
Example 1 Example 2
Town owns athletic field Town owns athletic field
Field used 30 hours/week Field used 30 hours/week
High school soccer team uses field 20 hours/week High school soccer team uses field 5 hours/week
Field used "primarily" for school managed activities because more than 50% of the time it is used by a school managed activity = school property. Field not "primarily" used for school managed activities because less than 50% of the time it is used for a school managed activity = not school property
School is responsible for Standard Written Notification School is NOT responsible for Standard Written Notification
Depending on your situation, it might be necessary to contact the Pesticide Enforcement section at 617-626-1781.

If a local sports organization is being contracted to maintain an athletic field on school grounds, is notification the responsibility of the school or the sports organization?

According to the law, schools are responsible for sending out the Standard Written Notification. So, because this field is school property, it remains the responsibility of the school to notify regardless of who is maintaining the field.

If a high school has athletic fields that are in different parts of town and are not connected or near the school. Would the Standard Written Notification still need to be issued?

Yes, even though the fields are not in the same part of town as the school, nor are they connected to the school, they would still be considered school property because the school manages them. Therefore, Standard Written Notification still needs to be sent out.

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Baits and Gels

Do PMP's or the schools need to notify parents and guardians if they are used?

Baits and Gels are registered pesticides and can be used as part of any IPM plan indoors without going through the notification process. These pesticides are permitted to be used indoors according to the law.

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Common Areas

A school age daycare is located in a shopping plaza. We do not service any areas of the daycare, but we do service common areas of the plaza. Is this considered "school grounds"?

In this particular situation, the common areas of the shopping plaza would not be considered school property unless they were used for a specific function by the school daycare. Remember, the school must control, manage, or sponsor activity to be school property. If that is not the case, then the common areas of this plaza do not fall under the law. However, if the daycare uses those areas for things like recess or any other activity, then they do fall under the law because they would then be considered school property. Generally speaking, common areas are those areas that children can get to. Areas that would not be considered common areas would be the loading dock, boiler room, roof, locked storage areas, and closets.

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Day Care Centers

Which Day Care Centers are covered by the Children protection law?

Every daycare center/school age childcare program is covered by the by the law with the following exceptions:

  • Family child care [care for 6 or fewer children]
  • Family child care plus [the care for up to 8 children providing two of them are of school age]
  • Large Family Child Care [the care of up to 10 children by 2 providers]

One of the above categories must be printed on the facility's license from the Office Of Child Care Services (OCCS) in order to be exempt. The OCCS web site contains a list of ALL licensed childcare providers in Massachusetts and their categories. If you need further clarification, call the Office of Child Care Services at 617-626-2000 or click on their web site http://www.qualitychildcare.org/

Does a private Summer Day Camp that operates from June 15th to August 15th and is run by private individuals fall under the law?

It is necessary to find out if the camp is licensed by the Office of Child Care Services as a daycare or a school age child care program. Without such a license, the camp would not fall under the law. However, if it has a license number, it would fall under the law and you would need to follow the provisions within the law. If you need further clarification, call the Office of Child Care Services at 617-626-2000 or click on their web site http://www.qualitychildcare.org/

A private corporation has an on-site Day Care Center at their facility for their employees. How does the new law apply to this type of property?

The law would pertain only to the area that contains the daycare facility. The rest of the private corporation would not have to follow the new rules. When a pesticide is used outdoors at the daycare facility, notification must be sent out to the employees, pupils, parents, etc. of the daycare. It is unnecessary to notify all the employees of the private corporation.

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Effective Date of Legislation

When did the new law take effect?

The law regarding Children's protection took effect as of January 1, 2000. Schools are required as of January 1, 2001 to develop IPM plans for both indoors and outdoors.

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Emergency Applications

How should incidents of wasp nests that need immediate removal be handled?

First, it should be determined if the wasp nest in question can be removed without using pesticides. For example, knocking down the nest or vacuuming up the nest would be ways to remove it without having to use chemicals. If this is not the case, the school must obtain an emergency waiver from either the local board of health or the Department of Agricultural Resources. This waiver allows immediate treatment for a certain pest emergency.

However, before such a waiver will be issued to a school, it must be determined that the pest problem is posing an immediate threat to human health and that there are no viable alternatives to rectify the problem. If the local board of health agent feels that this is the case, they may issue to the school an emergency waiver. These waivers are issued on a case-by-case basis.

Upon approval from the board of health, the school must commit to identifying and addressing the problem so future outbreaks do not occur. The school is still required to send out Standard Written Notification to employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians, either immediately before the application or immediately after the application. Signs also need to be posted around the perimeter of the area for at least 72 hours after the application. In order to obtain an emergency waiver application form (http://www.state.ma.us/dfa/cpa/emergencywaiver.pdf)

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Emergency Waiver Guidance and Form

EMERGENCY WAIVER PROVISIONS1
THE CHILDREN'S AND FAMILIES' PROTECTION ACT ("the Act")

Introduction

This document serves as a guide for Boards of Health and Health Officials, Schools, and Pest Management Professionals (PMP) when making decisions regarding pest problems that are deemed an emergency in accordance with the Children's and Families' Protection Act ("the Act").

The Act limits and prohibits the use of certain pesticides in schools, day care centers, and school-age childcare programs (Note: schools, day care centers, and school-age childcare programs will be referred to as schools and their respective properties as school property). In addition, the Act requires written notification for outdoor uses at least two (2) days prior to the commencement of the use of any pesticide allowed by Act. However, pest situations deemed an emergency might warrant a pesticide not otherwise allowed in the Act or warrant its use sooner than two (2) days.

The emergency provisions provide schools with the only mechanism to waive the requirements of the Act in order to protect children in the event of an emergency pest problem (one that poses an immediate threat and when no viable alternative to the use of pesticides exist). Although the law provides for schools to apply for an emergency waiver from the Department of Agricultural Resources, the Department encourages schools to communicate with the Board of Health regarding these matters particularly in the case of public schools.

Finally, it is recommended that schools work closely with their local public health authorities and pest management professional (PMP) to carefully consider each pest situation individually since no blanket approvals will be given. The Act requires the use of Integrated Pest Management or IPM, which focuses on prevention strategies to minimize and/or eliminate the need for such emergency waivers.

Emergency Waiver Overview

The main components of the emergency provisions are:

(a) Schools should first:

  • determine that an immediate human health emergency exists that warrants the use of pesticides not allowed under the Act or that warrants their use sooner than the two day notification requirement would allow
  • apply for a single-use waiver from the local Board of Health Agent or Department of Agricultural Resources

(b) Boards of Health or the Department of Agricultural Resources (if applicable) must:

  • determine if the single-use emergency waiver is warranted using the following criteria:

    1. the pest problem poses an immediate threat to human health AND
    2. no viable alternatives other than pesticides exist to address the problem
  • require a commitment from school(s) to identify the cause(s) of the emergency pest problem in order to prevent future problems
(c) Schools are required to:
  • post warning signs near and along the perimeter of the site of the treatment
  • leave the warning signs posted for at least 72 hours
  • provide standard written notification to employees, pupils, and parents immediately prior to or immediately following emergency treatment
  • maintain and make available to the public upon request written or electronic records of the emergency, the cause, and actions taken on site for 5 years

Emergency Waiver Requirement and Recommendation

The Act requires that the local Board of Health Agent or Department of Agricultural Resources (if applicable) determine if an emergency waiver requested by schools is warranted. The decision to grant the waiver should be based upon the following criteria.

1. The emergency pest situation must present an immediate threat to human health AND

2. There must be no viable alternatives to the use of pesticides to address the pest problem

  • If an emergency exists, the Department of Agricultural Resources recommends that schools request a waiver by faxing the attached emergency waiver application (see attached application form) to the Board of Health. For the purpose of implementation, the Department of Agricultural Resources recommends that the local authority such as the Board of Health exercise approval authority for emergency requests particularly in the case of public schools.

Examples of Emergency Waiver

It would not be practical to pre-determine all of the anticipated situations that could be approved as an emergency waiver. However, it would be safe to say that the following circumstances are commonplace at schools.

Example A


Hymenopterous insects (ants, bees, wasps, and hornets) located in an area (entryway) where employees and pupils are at risk of being harmed is an example of an immediate threat to human health which could necessitate an emergency waiver. In this circumstance, the risk of being stung and potential allergic reactions call for immediate action. Pesticide products that ensure quick knockdown and stupefaction are warranted and as such should be approved as an emergency waiver. In this case, viable alternatives that could assure immediate protection would not exist.

However, if these insects were located in another area (away from buildings) of the school property where the risk of being harmed was negligible, an immediate threat to human health would not exist. Therefore, an emergency waiver should not be approved. On the other hand, hymenopterans attracted to dandelions and clover could be construed as an example of an immediate threat to human health. However, a viable alternative to the use of chemical pesticides exists such as frequent mowing to remove flower heads that attract stinging insects. This scenario proves unworthy for emergency status!

Many situations appearing to be a health threat will have viable alternatives. These situations would have to be closely reviewed with accurate identification of the pest an important part of the decision-making process.

Example B

Honey bees unlike wasps and hornets have bodies that appear densely covered with hairs. Although they can sting, their behavior is less aggressive. A honey bee swarm although appearing to be an immediate threat would not require action with a pesticide. Children and employees can be told to avoid the area temporarily since the swarm will leave on its own accord within a few hours. Digger bees and wasps that may burrow in sand around play areas can cause consternation. However, correctly identifying these insects would indicate that they are non-aggressive type of wasp and the play area could be covered with plastic to deter activity. Mud-dauber wasps are not aggressive and are another example whereby a viable alternative exists such as scraping away and removing of nests. Stinging ants hitchhiking on indoor potted plants from another part of the country have viable alternatives such as removing and replacing the plants. In these situations, it is imperative that the school works closely with the pest management professional (PMP) to correctly identify the pest so that viable alternatives can be implemented to correct and prevent these pests.

Example C

A high school football coach sends a letter to the school principal regarding the current conditions of his athletic fields. The turf has a severe grub problem and the turf has died back making the playing surface unsafe for upcoming football games. In his letter, he is petitioning the school to seek an emergency waiver from the local Board of Health to control grubs. The situation does not reflect an immediate human health problem. Further, chemical treatments later in the year may not remedy or prevent harm to football players in this particular instant. The damage has already been done and it is too late to intervene with chemicals. The damaged turf will need to be removed and replaced. Thereafter, a viable alternative would be to monitor and sample turf earlier in any given year to prevent damage that may occur later in any year.

In this kind of circumstance, a good Integrated Pest Management or IPM plan would anticipate this problem and recommend actions to prevent this problem in the future.

Key and Ultimate Responsibility

The key in determining any emergency pest situation will rely on the following criteria:

  • The emergency pest situation must present an immediate threat to human health AND
  • There must be no viable alternatives to the use of pesticides to address the pest problem

However, it should be acknowledged that schools are ultimately responsible for their employees and students. Therefore, if a school reasonably believes that more protection is warranted than otherwise allowed by the law, it would be prudent for local health authorities and the department to lend its support by facilitating approval of emergency waiver requests on a case-by-case basis. For example, this action may come into play when infected mosquitoes or human cases are confirmed positive for West Nile Virus has been found near the school.

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Exempt Schools

What schools are exempt from the children protection law?

All colleges and universities are exempt from the Children Protection law. Also, the following home daycare centers are exempt:

  1. Family Child Care - the care for 6 or fewer children
  2. Family Child Care Plus - the care for up to 8 children providing two of them are of school age
  3. Large Family Child Care - the care of up to 10 children by 2 providers.

Although, all of the above are not included in the law, they are encouraged to adopt and implement IPM.

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Fertilizers

Are fertilizers covered under the law?

Fertilizers containing only nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are not defined as pesticides and are not covered under the children's protection law. However, those fertilizer products that contain insecticides and herbicides (commonly known as weed and feed products) are in fact pesticides and are governed by this law.

Do you need an IPM plan if you only use fertilizers containing only nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus?

Regardless of whether or not a school uses only fertilizers, the Children's Protection Act requires that every school, daycare center, and school age childcare program develop and implement an IPM plan.

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General Definitions

How are certain terms defined?

act - Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000; An Act to Protect Children and Families from Harmful Pesticides.

action threshold* - The point at which pest control measures are applied to avoid economic, medical, and/or aesthetic damage.

aesthetic - any pesticide treatments made that is not for the direct purpose of protecting health and safety or represent some social or economic value as approved by the chief elected officials of any municipality.

department - The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

day care center - any public or private facility operated on a regular basis whether known as a day nursery, nursery school, kindergarten, child play school, progressive school, child development center or preschool, or known under any other name, which receives children not of common parentage who are not more than six years of age, or who are not more than 21 years of age if such children have special needs, for nonresidential custody and care during part or all of the day separate from their parents. Day care center shall not include: any part of a public school system; any part of a private, organized educational system, unless the services of such system are primarily limited to kindergarten, nursery or related preschool services; periodic religious instruction classes conducted by a religious institution; a facility operated by a religious organization where children are cared for during short periods of time while persons responsible for such children are attending religious services; a family day care home; an informal cooperative arrangement among neighbors or relatives; or the occasional care of children with or without compensation.

emergency waiver - A single-use waiver issued to schools, daycare centers, and school-age childcare programs approved by the local board of health agent or the Department of Agricultural Resources to treat a pest problem that is considered a immediate threat to human health and for which there is no viable alternatives to the use of pesticides to address the pest problem.

higher-risk pesticides* - Refers to those legally registered materials and products that will control pests effectively, but are only used when non-chemical and low-risk pesticides have proven to be inadequate in the management of a pest problem.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as a comprehensive strategy of pest control whose major objective is to achieve desired levels of pest control in an environmentally responsible manner by combining multiple pest control measures to reduce the need for reliance on chemical pesticides; more specifically, a combination of pest controls which addresses conditions that support pests and may include, but is not limited to, the use of monitoring techniques to determine immediate and ongoing need for pest control, increased sanitation, physical barrier methods, the use of natural pest enemies and a judicious use of lowest risk pesticides when necessary.

low-risk pesticides* - Legally registered products that control a pest effectively and pose no exposure hazard and/or very low toxicity toward people, children, pets, and the environment.

mechanical control*- physical and/or non-chemical controls such as traps, barriers, caulks, and vacuuming.

monitoring* - Closely tracking or recording pest activity, density, and location.

pest management professional (PMP) - a person who holds and maintains a current and valid pesticide credential issued by the Department of Agricultural Resources to use pesticides. In order to obtain this credential, the PMP must verify his or her competency regarding pesticides and Integrated Pest Management.

pesticides - substances or mixtures of substances that prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate pests, or defoliate, desiccate or regulate plants. Pesticides include insecticides, rodenticides, herbicides, fungicides, and anti-microbial.

primarily - School managed activities occurring more than 50% of the time on school property.

Sanitation*- eliminating or cleaning-up conditions such as food, water, and clutter that attract pests.

school - any public or private school for preschool, elementary, middle or high school students.

school age child care program - any public or private program or facility operated on a regular basis which provides supervised group care for children not of common parentage who are enrolled in kindergarten and are of sufficient age to enter first grade the following year, or an older child who is not more than 14 years of age, or not more than 21 years of age if such child has special needs. Such a program may operate before and after school and may also operate during school vacation and holidays. A school age child care program shall not include: any part of a public school system; any part of a private, organized educational system, unless the services of such system are primarily limited to a school age day care program; periodic religious instruction classes conducted by a religious institution; a facility operated by a religious organization where children are cared for during short periods of time while persons responsible for such children are attending religious services; a family day care home; an informal cooperative arrangement among neighbors or relatives; or the occasional care of children with or without compensation.

standard written notification - Notification that is to be received by employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians, at least 2 working days prior to the pesticide application. The Standard Written Notification contains three components:

1. The Pesticide Standard Written Notification Form

2. The Consumer Information Bulletin for Schools, Daycare Centers, and School-Age Child Care Program

3. A chemical specific fact sheet(s) taken from the Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET).

Tamper-resistant* - Refers to the placement of pesticides inside a bait station to minimize exposure to children, pets, and non-target animals. *Adopted from Integrated Pest Management Guidelines for Structural Pest developed by the Structural Work Group of the Massachusetts IPM Council. Describes the practices that should be used by professional pest control practitioners who wish to be identified as IPM practitioners, but can also be used by homeowners for implementing their own IPM program to control pests such as ants, cockroaches, fleas, flies, rodents and subterranean termites. $10.00 each for 1-19 copies, $8.00 each for 20-59 copies, $6.00 each for case orders in multiples of 60 copies (60, 120, 180, etc....) IP-STRC To order: http://www.umass.edu/umext/bookstore/ordering.html Top of the page

Golf Courses

Do schools that have school sponsored golf activities at a golf course need to send out Standard Written Notification?

Under the law, a golf course would not be considered school property due to the fact that the course is not used "primarily" for the golf team. Primarily means that out of all the hours the golf course is used, the golf course is utilized for school sponsored golf activities more than 50% of the time. This golf course is not used primarily for the school golf team because the golf team doesn't use the course more than 50% of the time it is available. Therefore the school is not required to send out Standard Written Notification for applications made at the golf course. Keep in mind that the golf course is required to publicly post when pesticides have been used giving location, dates, and material.

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Inert Ingredients

How can it be determined if a pesticide has inert ingredients of toxicological concern?

If the product contains an "inert of toxicological concern", federal law states that this statement must appear on the label. Therefore, when a school is determining what outdoor pesticides they are going to use as part of their integrated pest management plan, it would be wise to check all pesticide product labels in order to find out if there are any inert ingredients of toxicological concern. If there are, that pesticide is not allowed on the outdoor grounds of a school.

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IPM Plans

What electronic form will the Department of Agricultural Resources accept for the school Integrated Pest Management Plan?

The Department of Agricultural Resources is accepting Integrated Pest Management Plans via an interactive website. Please click 'HERE' to visit DAR's IPM-Plan website to learn how to create and submit your indoor & outdoor IPM-Plans.

Where can I get more information about developing an Integrated Pest Management Plan(s)?

The Department of Agricultural Resources' website has helpful information in developing an integrated pest management plan click 'HERE'

When developing IPM plans, if one can document a history of infestation, can preventative materials be used even though this is contrary to IPM and the law?

Integrated Pest Management dictates that pesticides should not be applied unless a pest is present and identified, or based on biological evidence, are reasonably expected to occur. Therefore, preventative treatments can only be made if there is sound, biological reason to believe that the pest would occur. For example, preventative grub treatments can be made so long as there is strong evidence (results of monitoring, or climactic conditions favorable to grubs following a heavy grub infestation) that such treatment is warranted. Preventative applications made in the absence of sound biological reasoning, or weak reasoning, will be considered a misapplication.

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Mosquito Control

Can mosquito control districts still spray playgrounds and schools? Are liquid larvicide's permitted?

Adult Mosquito Control
Mosquito control (targeted at adult mosquitoes using ground based equipment such as Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV)operations) can take place on school property as long as the school has an IPM plan that describes the operation and standard written notification is sent out as required.

If this type of operation occurs during a school break or school vacation when there would be a time frame of 5 "consecutive days or more" where classes or activities are not held, then the standard written notification is not required of the school and/or professional pest management company or mosquito control project/district doing mosquito control programs approved under the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board.

In cases when arboviruses such as West Nile virus (WNv) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEv) pose a public health threat, the local Board of Health can approved an emergency waiver to permit the treatment right away but the school and company and/or mosquito control project/district must immediately or shortly thereafter send out standard written notification as required.

Larval Mosquito Control
Mosquito control (targeted at immature or larval stages of mosquitoes) can take place on school property if the mosquito larvicide’s products bear a signal word CAUTION or alternatively not bear a signal word and applied as indicated are exempt from the notification requirements of MGL 132B Section 6C when used by mosquito control programs approved under the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board.

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Non-Compliance

What happens if a school does not develop and submit an Indoor and Outdoor IPM plan?

Schools may be fined up to $1,000 specifically for school IPM violations and could lead to other administrative and civil penalties.

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Non-School Sponsored Activities

Our school property is used by private recreational programs. How does the law relate to these situations?

Only activities, groups, or programs that the school controls, manages, or sponsors are covered by the Act. For example, if a private group such as the cub scouts were meeting on school property, this would not warrant Standard Written Notification since the school does not control, manage, or sponsor this activity. In these circumstances, PMP's must operate in a careful manner including but not limited to carrying out pesticide product labeling protections and posting the treatment.

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Notification

What essential information is part of the Standard Written Notification?

The notification consists of three parts:

1. The Pesticide Standard Written Notification Form (Available 'HERE')
2. The Consumer Information Bulletin for Schools, Daycare Centers, and School-Age Child Care Programs (Available 'HERE')
3. A Chemical Specific Fact Sheet(s) taken from the Extension Toxicology Network(EXTOXNET). Click 'HERE' to visit the EXTOXNET website

Can a school issue one Standard Written Notification to cover all pesticide applications throughout the entire school year?

No, the law does not allow for blanket notification. Standard Written Notification must be issued for each pesticide application.

Can Standard Written Notification occur on an annual schedule? For example, can we provide dates for the entire season in a school handbook or other form of literature? If so, do rain dates apply?

This question is another version of the previous question. Again, the law does not allow for any type of blanket notification. Standard Written Notification must be issued for each pesticide application. Therefore, there is nothing to prohibit you from providing tentative dates in a school handbook or other form of literature but it will still be necessary to provide Standard Written Notification for each individual application. In a situation where inclement weather causes a pest management professional to postpone the application date, there is a 72-hour window of time within the Act that allows for such things. If an application was not able to proceed on the day it was scheduled to take place, the application may take place during the following two days without sending out another Standard Written Notification. However, if the application is going to take place after the 72-hour window has expired, Standard Written Notification must be sent out again.

Who is responsible for ensuring that employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians, receive the Standard Written Notification?

The school is ultimately responsible for sending out the Standard Written Notification to employee's, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians. However, the pest management professional is responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure that Standard Written Notification has been sent out. While the PMP can ask if the notification has been sent, the Department recommends that pest management professionals have someone from the school administration sign a brief form for their records stating that they have made the appropriate notifications. Remember that the two key words here are insure and receive. There is nothing to stop a school from sending this notification home with the children, however with this method, the school is not ensuring that the Standard Written Notification will be received at the child's home. A preferable approach might be to mail the Standard Written Notification home so the school can be reasonably certain that the intended recipients will receive the notification.

Is Standard Written Notification required if a school is on vacation?

Usually school vacations or school breaks are times when classes or activities are not taking place for 5 days or more and would therefore be an acceptable time to make pesticide applications if warranted. If pesticides are going to be used on school property during a time like a summer vacation or a winter break, and classes will not be scheduled, Standard Written Notification does not need to be sent out. However, posting is still required both along the perimeter of the area to be treated and at a central location.

Is Standard Written Notification required if a school is on vacation and other non-school sponsored groups use the outside school property?

Under the law, only groups that are school managed or school sponsored are required to receive Standard Written Notification. Therefore, because these groups are not school sponsored, it is not required that they receive the Standard Written Notification even though they are on school property. Sign posting should provide enough protection for these particular groups.

A dormitory is found to have a bee's nest and its location is approximately 25-50 feet away from a daycare. Can the nest be treated without Standard Written Notification?

Yes, the college is not part of the daycare property and is therefore not "school" property as is defined by the law. Standard Written Notification does not need to be issued.

A pesticide application has been postponed due to inclement weather but the Standard Written Notification has been sent out. What happens now?

If an application was not able to proceed on the day it was scheduled to take place, due to inclement weather, the application may take place during the following two days without sending out another notification. However, if the application is going to take place after the 72-hour window has expired, Standard Written Notification must be sent out again.

Are private athletic organizations (i.e. youth soccer, little league) whose memberships are exclusively school children, considered within the requirements for notification purposes?

Under the law, only groups that are school managed or school sponsored are required to receive Standard Written Notification. Therefore, because these groups are not school sponsored, it is not required that they receive the Standard Written Notification even though they may be on school property. Sign posting should provide enough protection for these particular groups.

Should staff or employees such as maintenance/administrative staff who are present during a school vacation receive notification?

No, the law states that the Standard Written Notification policy shall apply at all times except when classes or activities are not scheduled for five days or more. In this particular case, it would not warrant any of the remaining staff at the school to be notified because classes and activities are not in session.

Some Standard Written Notification packets could be quite voluminous including multi-page pesticide fact sheets. Does the school still need to mail out this information?

Yes, some notification packets could be quite extensive due to the fact that pesticides have different labeling and formulations. Some are more complex than others and therefore require longer pesticide profiles.

Is there any flexibility in the type of fact sheets used?

No, the law states that the Department of Agricultural Resources must approve the pesticide fact sheets. The Department has approved the use of EXTOXNET, the Extension Toxicology Network for the Pesticide Specific Fact sheets. The Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, University of California Davis, the Institute of Environmental Toxicology, and Michigan State University put out these fact sheets. If there is a problem where you can't find a pesticide profile for a specific chemical, please contact the Department of Agricultural Resources's Toxicologist at 617-626-1784.

Is Standard Written Notification required if a pest management professional uses pesticides on property that abuts a school?

No, the law deals strictly with school property. Therefore, property that abuts a school would not fall under the law and would not require the Standard Written Notification. The pest management professional is reminded that he/she must operate in a careful manner so as not to allow any drift onto adjoining property. If a pest management professional thinks drift may occur, it might be prudent to notify.

Under the law, are Park Departments responsible for sending out Standard Written Notification for fields that they maintain for school athletic programs on land that is not school property?

The Park Department is not a school and does not have any obligation to send out notification.

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Parent Information

If parents call with questions concerning information on a particular pesticide, whose responsibility is it to provide this information to them?

The school is responsible for mailing the pertinent information to the parents. The Pest Management Professional should work with the school and provide this information to the school.

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Private School with Farm

Is a private school with a farm exempt from the Act?

No, only state-aided and approved vocational-technical or agricultural schools are exempt from standard written notification when pesticide use is part of a supervised training program.

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Posting

How many pesticide flags are needed around the perimeter of a treated field?

There is no set number of pesticide flags that will need to be placed around the perimeter of a treated field. However, the Department is recommending that an applicator post signs conspicuously around the field so that someone entering the field from any direction would be notified that a pesticide application had taken place. The flags to use are the small yellow lawn care flags required by Massachusetts lawn care regulations. Such flags can be purchased from Gemplers at www.gemplers.com or by calling 1-800-382-8473.

Does the Children and Families Protection Act require warning signs to be posted when pesticides are used on school property?

YES. The law requires posting of warning signs for any outdoor use of pesticides on school property. This applies even when schools classes will not be scheduled for five consecutive days after a pesticide application. The warning signs shall be posted immediately prior to the application and shall remain posted for 72 hours after any turf application. Other outdoor treatments need to post warning signs but the school must post the Standard Written Notification Form in a central location for 72 hours..

Outdoor pesticide use on school property includes, but is not limited to, applications for lawn care, adult mosquito and stinging insect control.

At this time, any outdoor areas treated by pesticides must be clearly posted with the small yellow lawn-care flags required by lawn care regulations. Flags can be purchased from Gemplers at www.gemplers.com or by calling 1-800-382-8473. There is no set number of pesticide flags that will need to be placed around the perimeter of a treated field or area. However, the Department is recommending that the certified and/or licensed applicator post signs conspicuously around the area treated so that someone entering the treated area from any direction would be notified that a pesticide application had taken place.

For example, in the case of lawn care treatment of an athletic field, the Department policy is that flags must be placed with sufficient frequency so that anyone entering the field from any location from which one could reasonably be expected to enter the field, would be aware that a pesticide application had taken place.

For a wasp treatment, the flag(s) could be hung or secured in the immediate area of treatment from which one could reasonably be expected to see that a pesticide application had taken place.

For mosquito control, the flag(s) could be placed at the main and side entrance(s) of the school property. from which one could reasonably be expected to see that a pesticide application had taken place.

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Record Keeping

Whose responsibility is it to maintain records of service for 5 years?

The school has the primary responsibility for maintaining application records at each school site. Also, the Pest Management Professional is responsible for maintaining records for any pesticide use application that he/she does for at least 3 years. Keeping this in mind, the PMP who uses pesticides on school property are recommended to maintain these pesticide use records for 5 years.

Should records to be kept at each school location or at the school systems administrative office? The pesticide application records should be maintained at each school so that they are available to the public upon request and not at the school administrative offices.

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Rodent baiting outdoors

How does the use of a Rodent Baiting System outdoors on school property affect compliance?

It would be necessary to provide Standard Written Notification ONLY for the initial bait application but not for any subsequent bait applications. The potential for exposure is no greater during subsequent applications than it is for the original application. Therefore, additional Standard Written Notification is not required. However, the pest management professional must follow all product label directions including but not limited to insuring baits are placed in inaccessible areas to children, use tamper -resistant bait stations, and anchor bait stations to the ground or to a fixed object to minimize bait spillage and exposure.

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Property Descriptions
School Day Care School-age Child care program
School Property is property
  • where there are school buildings
  • where there are school sponsored
    and managed areas such as athletic
    fields
  • where the area is primarily
    (often or >50 % of the time) used
    for school sponsored or managed
    activities regardless of who maintains
    the Property
Day Care Property is property
  • where there is a day care center

School-aged child care program is property

Where there is a facility that provides group day care or school age childcare licensed by the Office of Child Care Services.

NOTE: The following daycares are not covered under the Children's & Families Protection ACT

  • Family child care[care for 6 or fewer children]
  • Family child care plus [the care for up to 8 children providing two of them are of school age]
  • Large Family Child Care - [the care of up to 10 children by 2 providers].

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State Lead Agency

As the state lead agency for pesticide control in the Commonwealth, the Department of Agricultural Resources-Pesticide Bureau ("the Department") is responsible for the implementation of "An Act to Protect Children and Families From Harmful Pesticides"(now part of the State Pesticide Control Act). This important and significant law addresses pesticide use in schools, day care centers, and school-aged childcare programs.

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Step-by-Step approach to
determine compliance with the law
.

If you are planning on using pesticides outdoors on school property, you may find it helpful to determine whether or not the property is school property. The following step-by-step approach discussion should prove helpful to you in becoming more familiar with the Act and on how to comply

STEP 1

Determine if the property in question is school property. MDAR has developed a school property definition.

School Property is property:

  • Where there are school buildings;
  • where there are school sponsored and managed areas such as athletic fields;
  • where the area is primarily (often or >50 % of the time) used for school sponsored or managed activities regardless of who maintains the Property.

Day Care Property is property:

  • where there is a day care center

A school-aged child care program is property:

  • Where there is a facility that provides group day care or school age child care licensed by the Office of Child Care Services (Family child care or day care in private residences with facility numbers from 600000 to 699999 are not covered under the law).

The law pertains to schools such as preschool, elementary, middle, or high school (not colleges or universities).

A. Does the property have school buildings on it? Yes or No

B. Is the property a setting that is managed by the school such as an athletic field? Yes or No

C. Is the property "primarily" (school managed activities occurring more than 50% of the time on school property) used for school-sponsored activities regardless of who manages the Property? Yes or No

If the answer is NO to all of the above questions, then the law does not apply to you.

If one or more of the answers to the above questions is YES, then the property meets the definition of school property, go onto Step 2.

STEP 2

Determine if the school has an Integrated Pest Management or IPM Plan.

A. Does the school, day care center, or school aged childcare program have an Integrated Pest Management or IPM Plan?

  • If the answer is NO, pesticides cannot be legally used on school property. Stop and Go to Step 7 to find out how to develop and adopt an IPM plan.
  • If the answer is YES, go onto Step 3.

STEP 3

Determine whether or not pesticides should be used.

A. Has both the presence and identification of the pest been verified? Yes or No

  • If the answer is No, pesticides should not be used and no further action to comply with the law is necessary. Go on to B. brgfrbtv
  • If the answer is YES, go onto step 4.

B. Are conditions conducive to pests such as infrequent waste disposal, tall grass, excessive moisture, poor sanitation practices, and structural deficiencies causing the pest problem?

  • If the answer is No, go onto step 4.
  • If the answer is YES, pesticides should not be used. Instead, non-chemical efforts should take place FIRST to reduce these conditions that promote pests such as food, water, and shelter. No further action is necessary to comply with the law unless pesticides will be used after the improvement of conditions, see part D below.

D. If a pesticide must be used outdoors, is it part of the school IPM plan?

  • If the answer is No, the pesticide cannot be used unless part of IPM plan, go to step 7.
  • If the answer is YES, go onto step 4

STEP 4

The school, day care center, and school aged child care program and the Pest Management Professional (PMP) must ensure that employees, pupils or supervised children and their guardians receive standard written notification at least 2 working days before pesticides are used outdoors on school property.

(The Standard Written Notification can be downloaded from the Department's web page. http://www.state.ma.us/dfa/cpa/cpa_notification_form_new.pdf)

  • The School must mail the information referred to above so that parents receive the information (at least 2 working days) prior to the planned use of any pesticide used outdoors.
Exception:
Schools and PMP's do not need to ensure that the Standard Written Notification is used when school managed or sponsored activities such as classes are not scheduled or the facility is not open for at least 5 consecutive days after the planned outdoor pesticide use.

STEP 5

The Standard Written Notification Form must be posted in a common area of the school such as the main office or cafeteria at least 2 working days before the outdoor pesticide use and remain for at least 72 hours after the treatment.

STEP 6

The perimeter of those areas that are treated must be posted with clear and conspicuous warning signs. The PMP is required to furnish these signs to the school.

STEP 7

Go to the Department's web page at www.mass.gov/agr for information under Children's Protection, use drop down box and select Pesticide Bureau, or select Help for schools under for your information to create an IPM plan.

Conclusion

The law states that:

  • Only certain pesticides will be allowed for use indoors and outdoors on the property of schools, day care centers, and school age child care programs.
  • Standard written notification and posting will be required for the outdoor use of pesticides.

It is currently recommended that:

  • Children should not be within 150 feet of where pesticides are being applied outdoors.
  • Children must not be present for a minimum of 8 hours before reentering treated areas when pesticides are being applied outdoors. Top of the page

Submit a Question?

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Termite Treatments

How does the use of a Termite Baiting System on school property affect compliance?

As long as 'Standard Written Notification' is provided at the initial installation of the baiting system along with baits being placed in tamper resistant bait stations or applied in areas that are inaccessible to children and the general public, the termite baiting program is allowed and no further notification is required subsequent to initial installation notification.

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Trouble Shooting Charts

Questions Pertaining to Standard Written Notification
(Outdoor Pesticide Use)
Trigger(s): for action What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property?
(school includes day care centers
and school-age child care programs)
1. Use Standard Written
Notification Form. Click 'HERE' to download
School administration, day care center operator, or school-age child care program operator The notification must be received by employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians at least 2 working days before pesticides are used
2. Use Consumer Information Bulletin
Click 'HERE' to download
3. Use EXTOXNET to obtain chemical
specific fact sheet(s): Click 'HERE' to obtain
fact sheets
4. If no EXTOXNET fact sheet exists for the chemical you are using, please notify the Department of Agricultural Resources-Pesticide Bureau immediately at 617-626-1784.

Questions Pertaining to Posting
(Outdoor Pesticide Use)
Trigger(s) for Action: What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property?
(school includes day care centers and
school-age child
care programs)
1. Send the Standard Written Notification Package
and Post in common area of facility 2 days before
and for 72 hours after (Click 'HERE' for dowloadable Stand Written Notification information)
Pest Management Professional (PMP) The warning signs currently required for turf applications is acceptable until specific posting standards are developed (see Appendix 3 Lawn Care)
2. POST treated areas with clear and conspicuous warning signs ALONG THE PERIMETER.
www.massdfa.org/legal/regs/pesticides_ 33313_std_application.pdf

Questions Pertaining to: Record-Keeping
(Indoor & Outdoor Pesticide Use)
Trigger(s) for Action What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property?
(school includes day
care centers and
school-age child
care programs)
Maintain written and/or electronic records of all pesticide use for 5 years School administration, day care center operator, or school-age child care program operator For each application of pesticide including but not limited to place, date, brand name, EPA Reg #, amount, purpose, method etc.

Question Pertaining to School IPM-Plans
(Indoor & Outdoor)

Trigger(s) for Action What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property?
(school includes day
care centers and
school-age child
care programs)
As of November 1, 2001, Adopt and Implement
an Indoor & Outdoor Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. Click 'HERE' for school IPM-Plan Guidance.
School administration, day care center operator, or school-age child care program operator Each school, daycare or school age childcare program is required to submit an indoor and outdoor IPM-Plan. Each plan must be specific for each school. District wide IPM-Plans will not be accepted.

Questions Pertaining to aesthetic pesticide use
on school property
Trigger(s) for Action
What to do?
Who does it?
Remarks
Is it school property? (school includes day care centers and school-age child care programs) As of November 1, 2001, pesticides used for purely aesthetic purposes (those do not directly affect health and safety) are prohibited EXCEPT if the Chief-elected municipal official or body allows the use for purely aesthetic reasons Chief-elected municipal official or body approves The use of pesticides should be in writing

Questions Pertaining to indoor use pesticides
Trigger(s) for Action What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property? (school includes day care centers and school-age child care programs)

Does your school have an indoor IPM-Plan on File? If no, your school must submitt an indoor IPM-Plan to the Department of Agricultural Resources prior to indoor pesticide applications.
As of November 1, 2001, The only pesticides permitted for indoor use include*
  • Anti-microbial pesticides such as bleach
  • Rodenticides placed in tamper resistant bait stations
  • Insecticide baits
  • Ready-to-Use insecticidal
    • Dusts
    • Gels
    • and powder formulations
  • Termiticides only when active infestation
  • Lower risk products federally exempted such as garlic, mint oil. Click HERE for the entire list of 25B Products.
*Important: All indoor pesticides should be placed in areas inaccessible to children and the general public
Licensed pest control operator.

*IMPORTANT: Only licensed/certified applicators are allowed to apply pesticides on school property.
NOTE: Any product intended for use on the schools exterior is considered an outdoor use pesticide and must be listed within the outdoor IPM-Plan. See below table for additional information

Questions Petaining to Outdoor Use Pesticides
Trigger(s) for Action What to do? Who does it? Remarks
Is it school property? (school includes day care centers and school-age child care programs)

Does your school have an outdoor IPM-Plan on File? If no, your school must submitt an outdoor IPM-Plan to the Department of Agricultural Resources prior to any outdoor pesticide applications.
As of November 1st 2001 outdoor pesticide applications:
  • Cannot be used within 150 ft of where children are present or are reasonably expected to enter within an 8 hour period.
  • Are limited to those listed in the IPM plan IMPORTANT: Any product intended for outdoor use must be listed within the outfdoor IPM-Plan by:
    • Product name
    • EPA Registration number
    • Active ingredient
  • Are not classified as known, likely, or probable human carcinogens
  • Do not contain inert ingredients categorized as List 1: Inerts of Toxicological Concern
  • Are not applied for purely aesthetic reasons

Licensed Pest Management Professionals (PMPs)

Reminder:
Only licensed/certified Pest Management Professionals (PMP) may apply pesticides on school property.
Outdoor use pesticdes include but is not limited to products used for :
  • Stinging insect control
  • Turf weed control.
  • Turf insect control
  • Noxious weed control
Pesticides should not be used unless the pest is present and identified and/or based on biological evidence that the pest is reasonably expected to occur

Note on fertilizers: Straight fertilizers are not pesticides but those that contain insecticides and herbicides commonly known as "weed and feed" are pesticides.

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Unique Situations

My school leases space in a building. We maintain our space, but not the whole building. We cannot control what pest management methods are used in the rest of the building. Are we responsible for what they do?

For these types of situations, it is best if the daycare or school age child care program operator tries to get the pest management professional to notify them of any potential applications that will take place in the other areas of the building not utilized by the children.

If a college has a summer camp, (softball, tennis, etc), where kids attend and stay over, would we need to follow the guidelines of this law if a pest problem were to break out in the dormitory?

Remember that colleges and universities are exempt under this Act and therefore do not need to follow the provisions of it. However in this special case, it is necessary to know if such a camp at a college or university is licensed as a daycare or school age child care program. If that were the case, it would fall under the Act. In order to find out if a camp is licensed as a daycare or school age child care program, contact the Office of Child Care Services at 617-626-2000. While these types of camps may not come under the law, it may be prudent to consider operating under most of the provisions of the law

A private school is located on church grounds. Pesticides will be used on the areas around the church. Is Standard Written Notification required since the land is adjacent to the school?

What needs to be identified is whether or not the church would be considered school property, and would therefore require notification. For this particular scenario, any portion of the church property that is utilized by the private school would be considered school property. Therefore, for those areas, Standard Written Notification would need to be sent out if pesticides were applied.

YMCA's have programs with children such as karate, swim class, and basketball. Does this fall under the law? If so, who needs to be notified?

In order to tell if these programs are covered by the law, it has to be determined what type of licensure the Office of Child Care Services has given to these programs. Some of these activities are part of a daycare or school age child care program and would be licensed as such. In such a case they would fall under the law. The YMCA would therefore need to send notification out to employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians of the daycare or school age child care program. However, if these programs are not associated with a daycare or school age child care program, they are not covered under the law, in which case there is no requirement for notification.

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Contacts:

Trevor Battle 617-626-1775

Mark S. Buffone 617-626-1777

Taryn Lascola 617-626-1782