Pesticides & Toxins in the Classroom

While pesticides are an effective method for getting rid of crop-destroying bugs and fungi, they’re now recognized as a harmful pollutant to water, soil and air—and a major toxic threat to young children everywhere.

From soccer fields to school playgrounds to classrooms, children are more vulnerable to pesticides than any other age group. Even low levels of chemicals are dangerous to children because of their developing organs, smaller bodies, and high metabolisms.

In addition to developmental and neurological problems, EarthShare member organization Beyond Pesticides has noted that exposure to pesticides is linked to other harmful and lasting health problems, including:

  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit and hyperactivity
  • Autism
  • Breast cancer (in preadolescents)
  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Obesity
  • Organ defects (in fetuses)

But giving up pesticides and herbicides doesn’t mean you have to let bothersome bugs crawl back into your lawn, garden or playground. Beyond Pesticides has a comprehensive list of safe, organic pest control alternatives that will keep shared areas free of everything from wasps to weeds. Many schools across the country also now practice Integrated Pest Management, an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices.

Children spend nearly half of their waking hours at school or outdoors. It is for that reason that EarthShare, along with our member organizations, is working to build awareness and safe practices that will promote healthy schools, homes and parks for kids—and we hope you’ll join us.

Take a look below at our updated resources to learn more about pesticide prevention and consider supporting the organizations committed to eradicating these toxins through an individual donation or by setting up a workplace giving campaign. Together we can make a difference.