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Connecticut Legislature Votes To Ban Pesticides On Municipal Playgrounds

“This measure represents a great step forward for our state, safeguarding our children from these toxic chemicals on town playgrounds.” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, House Chairman of the Education Committee.
“This measure represents a great step forward for our state, safeguarding our children from these toxic chemicals on town playgrounds.” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, House Chairman of the Education Committee. Photo Credit: File

WESTON, Conn. -- The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation earlier this month to ban pesticides on municipal playgrounds in the state, building on existing bans on school grounds.

The new law is aimed at protecting small children, pets, and wildlife from exposure to pesticides.

“I’m pleased that we were finally able to craft a bill that focused on the main goal of the initial ban — protecting young children — while being sympathetic to the real world needs of state and municipal property managers,” said state Rep. John Shaban (R-Weston), Ranking Member of the Environment Committee.

The law also improves the existing parents’ notification system by requiring school districts to provide at least 24-hour electronic notification any time a pesticide application is scheduled to occur on school property.

“Time and time again pesticides have been shown to have serious health and environmental consequences, and it is critical that we begin limiting their use,” said state Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., Senate Chair of the Environment Committee.

Connecticut established itself as a nationwide leader on this public health issue in 2005, when it became the first state in the nation to prohibit the use of lawn care pesticides on school athletic fields serving grades K-6. That law was expanded in 2009 to include middle school fields (Grades 7 and 8). This gradual expansion represents a growing consensus among the health and science communities that chemical pesticides pose a disproportionate and undue risk to children.

State Rep. Philip Miller, House Chair of the Committee on Planning and Development said, “This bill protects our vulnerable children and it forces landscapers to use sustainable practice to uphold public health by reducing those exposures.”

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