Widespread Toxic Chemical Use Allowed by States on Public Property

State laws regulating pest management allow broad dependency on toxic

pesticides, while four states call for pesticide reduction and alternatives

Report at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/stateipm

Jul 25, 2007, 01:00 ET from Beyond Pesticides

    WASHINGTON, July 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With increasing public
 concern about the use of toxic and polluting pesticides because of adverse
 impacts on people and the environment, a national study finds that states
 are lagging behind on "green" standards for managing their state lands and
 buildings. The report, Ending Toxic Dependency: The State of IPM, to be
 published in the Summer issue of Pesticides and You, finds that statewide
 integrated pest management (IPM) laws do not exist in 40 states and the
 District of Columbia, and existing laws in only 10 states are limited and
 mostly inadequate.
     Only four states call for pesticide reduction and alternatives that do
 not rely on toxic chemicals in their IPM law. Six of the 10 states adopt
 the definition most promoted by the chemical and pest control industry -- a
 combination of methods without priority being given to non-chemical
 practices and absent toxic reduction or elimination goals and least-toxic
     "While people are increasingly concerned about pollution, global
 warming, and fossil fuel use, state legislatures have a responsibility to
 ensure that pest management practices on state property are environmentally
 sound," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, and
 co-author of the report. "The toxic and petroleum-based pesticides are not
 needed and it's wrong for states to do nothing or fall short of their
 responsibility to health and the environment," Mr. Feldman said. The report
 cites 195 million acres of state land that would be affected by statewide
 laws requiring environmentally sound pest management practices.
     In the report, Beyond Pesticides, a Washington, DC-based national
 clearinghouse and advocacy organization focused on pesticide hazards and
 alternatives, evaluates the states' definition of IPM and essential
 components that it says are key to effective programs that trade toxic
 pesticides for sound public health and environmental practices. For
 buildings, these include sanitation, structural repairs, moisture control,
 maintenance, and biological controls. Outdoors, practices include planting
 proper plant varieties, soil health and natural fertilization.
     Local governments across the country in 17 states have adopted
 ordinances that phase-out toxic pesticides on public property. Forty-one
 states prohibit towns and cities in their state from restricting pesticide
 use on private land.

SOURCE Beyond Pesticides