Bill Memo: Pesticide-Free Summercamps
This bill further amends New York’s Public Health Law to prohibit pesticide use on playgrounds, turf, and athletic or playing fields at children’s overnight camps and day camps except when an emergency application is warranted.
New York State prohibits pesticide applications on school and daycare outdoor playing fields. This bill expands that law to protect children from these toxic substances by similarly restricting pesticide applications at summer camps, where many children spend significant portions of their summers.
Children are at greatest risk from exposure to hazardous pesticides because of their developing systems, smaller size, and faster metabolisms. In addition, children are more likely to come into direct contact with pesticides when at play, especially while running, sitting, and playing on treated lawns and fields; they are also at risk due to hand-to-mouth behaviors.
Pesticides are designed to kill or otherwise adversely affect living organisms and, as such, are highly toxic and hazardous. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that pesticides, depending on type, may damage nervous or endocrine systems, be carcinogenic, contaminate air and drinking water; and harm wildlife.
This bill could be made stronger if it eliminated the application of pesticides in aquatic environments (e.g. ponds or lakes at camps) as well. Pesticides should not be used in bodies of waters used by campers for aquatic activities.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 4