Last week, draft regulations were announced to protect California schoolchildren and staff from exposure to hazardous agricultural pesticides.
This has drawn criticism from parents, teachers and advocates for social justice, who say they fall short of providing the protection needed, particularly for Latino schoolchildren, whom are more likely to attend the most impacted schools.
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The California Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) draft rules would first-ever statewide buffer zone around public schools and daycare centers in California.
These regulations would prohibit any pesticide applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast or fumigation on fields within a quarter mile of schools. This restriction would only apply during the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
However, there has been evidence that many of the most hazardous pesticides linger in the air for hours or even days. The public comment period for the new rules ends on November 17.