Pesticide Notification

Washington Pesticide Application Act, section 17.21.410 of the Revised Code of Washington, requires that an individual, not just a certified applicator, that applies pesticides to the grounds of a school, nursery school or day-care center, must post indoor and outdoor signs at the time of the application and remain posted for 24 hours. Details on whom to contact for information regarding the pesticide application is included on the sign.

Written notification of pesticide use is a good way to make sure that all parents, children and staff are aware and warned of pesticide use in the schools. Limited notification-based registries is a less effective means of notifying people and does not qualify as true right-to-know because of its limited scope. Requiring that individuals place themselves on registries, sometimes only with a doctor’s letter, afford only those who already know about toxic exposure the opportunity to be informed about pesticide use in the school.

Prior notification should be 72 hours in advance to make sure the information has been received, to get further information regarding the pesticide and to make arrangements to avoid the exposure, if necessary. Notification should include the name of the pesticide(s), a summary of the adverse health effects listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and label, the day and time, and area of the application and how to obtain a copy of the MSDS and label.