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News From

State Senator

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Deputy Majority Leader

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Contact: Dan Doyle
860-240-8633

May 27, 2015

Kennedy: Bill Passed Today Will Protect Connecticut’s Children From Toxic Pesticides

Senate Bill 366 bans pesticide use on municipal playgrounds

Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) today secured bipartisan passage of a bill that will expand protections against pesticide exposure. Senate Bill 366, which passed the Senate by a vote of 34-2, bans pesticide use on municipal playgrounds and ensures that parents are notified of any emergency application of pesticide at their child’s school.

“There is growing evidence that pesticides do far more harm than good to our communities, and Connecticut must act judiciously to minimize their impact,” said Senator Kennedy, Senate Chair of the Environment Committee. “By keeping pesticides off of playgrounds and school property, we are protecting those who are most susceptible to the health impacts of pesticide exposure. Notifying parents of any emergency application also helps parents make informed decisions on whether their children are exposed to pesticides.”

“This is a good law that will allow parents to make informed decisions about their kids’ potential exposure to pesticides in Connecticut,” said Senator Clark Chapin (R-New Milford), Senate Ranking Member of the Environment Committee. “It is also intended to ensure that state agencies engage in pesticide use judiciously.”

Under current law, pesticides cannot be applied to K-8 school grounds and at daycare centers. Senate Bill 366 extends that ban to include municipal playgrounds. Municipalities will only be able to apply pesticides to their playgrounds in the event of an emergency situation where pesticides are needed to eliminate and immediate threat to human health.

Senate Bill 366 also requires that parents are promptly informed about pesticide and herbicide applications on high schools by requiring that school websites post pest management plans. Email alerts detailing pesticide and herbicide application plans will be distributed through email alerts to any parents who signs up for prior notice.

In an effort to avoid the health and environmental consequences associated with pesticide use, Branford, Cheshire, and other Connecticut communities have organically maintained their municipal grounds for years.

The National Cancer Institute and multiple peer-reviewed, evidence-based studies have linked pesticides with cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems, and neurotoxicity or abnormal brain development. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to hyperactivity, developmental delays, behavioral disorders and motor dysfunction. Children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk of health injury following exposure to pesticides.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. Glyphosate is a primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. This weed-killer has caused cancer in laboratory animals and shows potential to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, according to recent studies. Following the lead of the WHO, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its own intention to restrict the use of glyphosate.

This month, several new studies were released linking pesticides to “colony collapse disorder,” the phenomenon that has caused a worldwide drop in bee populations. Bee pollination is necessary for the production of nearly one third of crops grown in the United States. Without bee pollination, the United States will likely experience a serious food shortage and billions of dollars in financial losses. Many bees are unable to avoid consuming food contaminated with pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, and some actually seem attracted to it. According to researchers at Newcastle University and Trinity College in Dublin, bumblebees seem more likely to consume pesticides, and may even be addicted to them.

Now that Senate bill 366 has passed in the Senate, it will move to the House of Representatives for final legislative consideration.

 

Committees

Chair: Environment; Internship

Vice Chair: Banking; Public Health

Member: Finance, Revenue & Bonding; Transportation

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Dan Doyle
860-240-8633

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Room 3200
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

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