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Agricultural Pesticide Use Causes Concerns at California Schools


LA Testing provides pesticide testing solutions for school districts to ensure a safe environment for students and faculty.

Los Alamitos, CA

A recent study mapping agricultural pesticide use in Monterey County has highlighted concerns that many area residents have long expressed. Pesticide use in agricultural areas near schools could be exposing students and staff to dangerous chemicals. In the Salinas area alone, 62% of the agricultural land is within a ¼ mile of a school according to the study.

Currently when a school applies a pesticide warnings are posted the day before their use. There are no specific federal laws prohibiting pesticide spraying near schools, but state law allows county agricultural commissioners to create quarter mile buffers around them. In Monterey County no pesticides can be used within 500 feet of a school from an hour before school opens until an hour after it closes.

The potential for accidental exposure or exposure caused by pesticides drifting is a real concern for area residents. In 2005 Monterey County witnesses 335 people exposed to the agricultural pesticide chloropicrin, and between 2006 and 2007 there were 107 cases of people seeking doctors’ care for pesticide exposure in the county.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading provider of advanced environmental laboratory services, has several laboratories throughout California that provide pesticide analysis for school districts and farmers across the state. The laboratory utilizes the most advanced instrumentation and testing methods to provide analytical solutions to ensure the safety of area residents as well as farm workers.

“Pesticide drift is a real concern for schools located in agricultural areas,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “Pesticides can be suspended in the air and carried for some distance by winds. Not only is there the risk of inhaling or touching pesticide contaminated surfaces, but these same pesticides can pollute the soil around the schools and contaminate ground water.”

To learn more about pesticide testing please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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