Mass.gov
   
Mass.Gov home Mass.gov  home get things done agencies Search Mass.Gov
For Schools/Daycare... Child Protection Act of 2000...
Background Information - Questions & Answers
THE ACT PROTECTING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FROM HARMFUL PESTICIDES OF 2000


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Updated June 2003)
What are the goals of the act?

Who is affected by the act?

What does the act require?

What do you do in the event of a health emergency ?

What is integrated pest management (IPM)?

What is an integrated pest management plan?

Where Can Schools Get More Information?



WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE ACT?
The goals of the act are:
  • To prevent unnecessary exposure of children to chemical pesticides
  • Promote safer alternatives to pesticides
  • Ensure that schools, day care centers and school age child care programs notify employees, pupils or supervised children and their parents or guardians of pesticide applications
  • Promote the use of Integrated Pest Management techniques to reduce the need to rely on chemical pesticides
>> BACK TO TOP



WHO IS AFFECTED BY THE ACT?
  • Public and Private Schools for preschool, elementary, middle or high school students.
  • Day Care Centers and School Age Child Care Programs including any public or private program or facility operated on a regular basis which provides supervised group care for children who are enrolled in kindergarten and are old enough to enter first grade or an older child who is not more that 14 years old or not more than 21 years old if the child has special needs.

    The following programs are NOT affected by the Act: family day care homes; periodic religious instruction classes conducted by religious institutions; facilities operated by religious institutions where children are cared for short periods of time whole persons responsible for such children are attending religious services.

  • School Board members, administrators, staff, teachers, parents, custodians, food service workers, ground maintenance personnel, school nurses, pest control professionals, Boards of Health.
>> BACK TO TOP



WHAT DOES THE ACT REQUIRE?
This act (Chapter 85 of the 2000 Massachusetts Acts) designed to reduce the exposure of children to pests and pesticides was signed into law and is available on the internet for those interested in viewing all its components in its entirety. The URL along with additional contact information is provided at the end of this document

On paper, this act is comprised of 17 sections. The essence of this act as it pertains to schools, school age childcare programs and daycare centers is found within section 11. Section 1 consists of the justification for this act. Sections 2-9 involve the definition of words or phrases used in the act. Section 10 pertains to utility companies; and section 12-16 cover information on the enforcement of this act; the penalties incurred if a school is found to be non-compliant; and a pesticide use reporting system. The final section (17) indicates November 1, 2000 as the date this act goes into effect.

Section 11 of this act covers the restriction of indoor and outdoor pesticide applications, standard written notification, the posting of these notifications, and exceptions to the notification rule. The essence of section 11 can be reduced to the following 8 facts.

Note: Although not part of this act, state law requires that No person shall apply any pesticide in, on, or around structures or school grounds unless that person is a certified commercial applicator, or licensed applicator.

For indoor applications of pesticides:
The only pesticides eligible for use indoors on school property are:
  • Anti-microbial pesticides
  • Rodenticides placed in tamper resistant bait stations or placed in areas inaccessible to children and the general public
  • Ready-to-use dust, powder or gel formulations of insecticide applied in areas inaccessible to children and the general public
  • Insecticidal baits placed in tamper resistant bait stations or in areas inaccessible to children and the general public
  • Termiticides used only in the presence of an active termite infestation and when non-chemical pesticide alternatives have been determined to be ineffective.
  • Pesticides classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as exempt materials under 40 CFR 152.25.
For outdoor applications of pesticides:
  1. Pesticides cannot be applied on the outdoor property while children are located in, on, or adjacent to the area of pesticide application.
  2. When a pesticide is to be applied outdoors, the school administration, day care center operator, or school child care program operator must ensure that employees pupils or supervised children and their guardians receive standard written notification at least two working days before pesticides are to be applied to the property. Standard Written Notification includes the following information:
    • Approximate dates when the application shall commence and conclude;
    • Specific location of the application;
    • Product name, type and EPA Registration number of the pesticide;
    • A Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau Fact Sheet;
    • A description of the purpose of the application and
    • A Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau approved statement describing ways to minimize exposure and precautions to be taken.

      This information can be obtained from the pesticide applicator. The notification must also be posted in a common area of the facility at least two working days before the outdoor application is to commence and at least 72 hours after the application. Treated areas will be posted with clear and conspicuous warning signs along the perimeter.

  3. Standard written notification must be posted in a common area of its facility at least two working days before and three days after the outdoor pesticide application. Treated areas will be posted with clear and conspicuous warning signs along the perimeter in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department of Food and Agriculture governing indoor and outdoor pesticide applications at schools.
  4. A written or electronic record of any pesticide application made at a school in the commonwealth shall be maintained on site for a period of not less than five years, and shall be made available to the public upon request.
  5. Only the following pesticide products can be used on outdoor grounds:
    • Pesticides used as part of the facility's IPM Plan;
    • Pesticides which are not classified as known, likely or probable human carcinogens;
    • Pesticides which do not contain any inert ingredients of toxicological concern; and
    • Pesticides that are applied for reasons other than purely aesthetic purposes.

      (HOWEVER, a municipality can decide to allow the use of pesticides for aesthetic purposes on outdoor grounds).
For indoor and outdoor applications of pesticides
All schools, day care centers and school age day care programs must develop and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. The IPM Plan must be submitted to the Department of Agricultural Resources. Details on how to develop and submit an IPM plan are featured on the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES website.


>> BACK TO TOP



WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE EVENT OF A HEALTH EMERGENCY?
Even in such an emergency situation, the school official / operator must issue the standard written notification as described immediately prior to or, if necessary, immediately following the emergency application. Similarly, the school official / operator must ensure that conspicuous warning signs are posted near the treatment site prior to, and for at least 72 hours after application (see item 4). A record of the emergency event, including the identification of the cause and the actions taken to address it, shall be maintained as a part of the records.

EXEMPTIONS
Five day rule
A school is exempt from this notification policy if the facilities are not scheduled to be open for at least five consecutive days after the pesticide application date.

Vocational / Technical Schools


>> BACK TO TOP



WHAT IS INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)?
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is an approach to pest control that relies on a combination of common sense practices for preventing and controlling pests. In an IPM approach all possible pest management options are considered, not just pesticides. Considerable effort is also put towards preventing pest problems by controlling conditions in buildings, which may attract and support pests.

Integrated Pest Management de-emphasizes the use of pesticides by first identifying why the pest infestation arose in the first place. By reducing the problem through resource reduction and other non-chemical controls such as caulking cracks and crevices; IPM addresses the cause of the problem (potential pest resources: food and harborage) not just the symptom (pest infestations). Chemical control measures such as baits in areas inaccessible to children, or applying boric acid dusts to cracks, crevices and wall voids might be effective control options but should be used only as a last resort.

>> BACK TO TOP



WHAT IS AN INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN?
The integrated pest management plan is a paper document which organizes all the IPM practices used by the school or daycare center. These practices would include procedures for record keeping, notification and communication.. This plan serves as a reference for pest control contractors, school staff and others to assure implementation and compliance with the school's IPM policy.

>> BACK TO TOP



WHERE CAN SCHOOLS GET MORE INFORMATION?
Go to the DAR website at www.mass.gov/dfa and follow the link to the Children's Protection page.

Contact information:
Questions regarding the legality of this law and the general use of pesticides should be directed to:
    Ms. Taryn LaScola
    Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
    251 Causeway St., Suite 500
    Boston, MA 02114
    Telephone: (617) 626-1782
    Email: Taryn.LaScola@state.ma.us

Questions regarding IPM plans should be directed to:
    Mr. Trevor Battle
    Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
    251 Causeway St., Suite 500
    Boston, MA 02114
    Telephone: (617) 626-1775
    Email: Trevor.Battle@state.ma.us

>> BACK TO TOP