Massachusetts Medical Society: Letter to House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling in Support of H.926

Letter to House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling in Support of H.926

The Honorable Kevin Honan
Chair, House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling
State House, Room 38
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Mr. Chair:

On behalf of the over 25,000 physician, resident, and student members of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), I wish to offer our support of House bill 926, An Act relative to improving pesticide protections for Massachusetts schoolchildren.

The Medical Society recently adopted policy recognizing that there are associations between early life exposure to pesticides and health sequelae in children. Indeed, in 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for governments to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides, writing that scientific evidence “demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.” We therefore believe that House bill 926, which would narrow the list of acceptable pesticides for use on outdoor grounds of any school or childcare center in the Commonwealth, is an important step forward in averting potential harmful health care consequences in school age children.

While there currently are statutory provisions that prohibit the use of the most dangerous pesticide products for use at schools and childcare centers in Massachusetts, this legislation would ensure greater protections so only truly “minimal risk pesticides” are used in school settings. This legislation is modeled after legislation passed in Connecticut and New York and is consistent with the integrated pest management strategies currently utilized in many municipalities in Massachusetts.

We therefore urge passage of House bill 926 to improve the health of children at Massachusetts schools and childcare centers by reducing exposure to potentially harmful pesticides.

Sincerely,

Theodore A. Calianos, II, MD, FACS

View a PDF version of this letter here.

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