REDUCING PESTICIDE EXPOSURES IN VIRGINIA SCHOOLS
Parents Seek Help from Virginia’s Governor Tim Kaine
Bill Couzens Lesscancer.org
After years of appealing to Virginia’s failed concept of a pesticide board, parents,teachers and environmental health advocates have requested help from Governor Kaine of Virginia to protect their children in Virginia schools from dangerous pesticide exposures.
In a recent grass roots effort, parents have sought the Governor’s help by requesting that the authority to regulate pesticides in Virginia’s pesticide board be moved from the VDACS (Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) to the Department of Environmental Quality.
The current pesticide board, now under the control of VDACS, was ostensibly founded to protect human health from pesticide misuse exposure. The Pesticide Board was established to allow the state through a citizen board to protect the health and well being of all Virginians.
The VDACS mission is to promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, encourage environmental stewardship and provide consumer protection.
Concerned voters are asking why VDACS is responsible for protecting children from exposures to toxic pesticides in Virginia schools?
The current regulatory arrangement is simply not a good fit for the 7 million Virginians who do wish to have a department that is truly interested in protecting their children.
In Virginia there are few safe guards in place to protect human health from pesticide exposures, there are even fewer restrictions designed to protect children in schools and other health-affected communities.
There area over 150,000 people involved in Virginia with agriculture. As a part of it pesticides are increasingly used to help mass produce crops, led by the pesticide manufacturers, whose primary goal is to sell more pesticides and better their bottom line.
Today Virginia’s pesticide board is made up of pesticide advocates. http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides/boardprofiles.shtml
And while seemingly appropriate relative to agriculture concerned citizens ask that all Virginians remind the Governor that the pesticide board was founded to protect human health and the well being of all Virginians. The Pesticide Board was established in Virginia as a response to two deaths related to pesticide poisonings.
Advocates ask that voters email the Governor and ask him to intercept this runaway train. Ask him to put the regulatory authority over pesticide use in the hands of the Department of Environmental Quality, and let VDACS focus on promoting agriculture, not pesticides.
Virginia is last in line for protecting children from pesticide exposures. In 1990 California moved its Pesticide Regulation Board from the California Department of Agriculture to the California EPA. And just last year in light of the potential harms from pesticides, a bill was passed in Washington State to do pesticide air monitoring that explicitly called for the Department of Health to be put in charge of the monitoring program.
For years parents, child health advocates and teachers have long been directed to the pesticide board.
Under the current system issues of pesticide exposures for children in Virginia schools will never be addressed under this current and broken system.
Please lets not burden Virginias farmer and protect Virginias school children you can email the governor below.
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