At the end of the legislative session, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1405, by Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), requiring safe use and accurate tracking of pesticides on school campuses. Industry lobbyists previously blocked two similar pieces of legislation.
With pesticides being common at urban and rural schools, SB1405 is aimed at preventing a tragedy. The National Academy of Sciences recently reported that most high-level pesticide exposures are to children, and that children are affected more than adults.
Under the new law, schools and colleges will need to designate someone to document all pesticide use, develop a long-term plan to prevent pests with minimal hazard to humans, post information on the school website, and provide annual training for everyone who handles pesticides.
SB1405 goes into effect in July 2016, giving districts time to prepare and the state Department of Pest Regulation time to develop a training program.