Reducing Exposure to Toxic Pesticides

The Watershed Partnership's Dr. Jerry Silbert successfully worked to have legislation passed in CT.

The mission of the Watershed Partnership (WP) is to promote healthy, sustainable communities and watersheds in harmony with the environment through education, advocacy and technical assistance. A focus of its work has been on protecting children from exposure to toxic lawn pesticides on Connecticut school grounds and day care facilities.

Though it took several years, the WP's efforts paid off.

Through its Safe Grounds Campaign, Watershed Partnership was instrumental in getting pesticide legislation passed - banning the use of lawn pesticides at private and public daycare centers and elementary schools statewide. Connecticut was the first state to pass this type of legislation. New York has followed by passing similar legislation in 2009.

Decreasing the use of toxic lawn pesticides is essential for maintaining a healthy environment. The potential harm of these agents is significant. Children and the child in utero are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of these toxic chemicals. Many commonly used lawn pesticides have studies linking them with cancers, birth defects, abnormal mental development, liver or kidney damage, allergies, and disruption of hormonal systems.

Working with municipalities in Connecticut, the WP has shown that pesticide-free turf care works. It continues to form working relationships with those directly responsible for the care of school lawns and turf. And maintains good relationships with other nonprofit organizations interested in the environment and children's health, as well as experts in the health and environmental fields.