Pesticide Use Near California Schoolchildren
2014 | View Website
California agriculture produces nearly half of all fruits and vegetables grown in the Unites States. These foods are essential components of a healthful diet and help promote public health here and throughout the country. However, agricultural production frequently relies on the application of pesticides that, under some circumstances, can be hazardous to human health. Compared with adults, children are more susceptible to the effects of pesticide exposure.
A study on use of pesticides of public health concern near schools in the state’s agricultural counties found Hispanic children were far more likely to attend schools near the highest pesticide use than white children. The study is by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, a collaboration of the state Department of Public Health and staff from the Public Health Institute.
Because of the potential public health risks to children, we examined the use of selected agricultural pesticides near public schools in the top 15 counties by agricultural pesticide use in California for 2010. Our goals were to improve the methodology for the ongoing surveillance of agricultural pesticides to understand pesticide use patterns and provide information that can be used to assess and inform efforts to minimize potential pesticide exposures among schoolchildren.