A new state report shows tens of thousands of California students attend schools very close to farms where heavy amounts of pesticides are used.
Farmworkers and pesticide reform groups say the data is long overdue.
This is the first time the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has comprehensively surveyed pesticide use near the 2,500 schools in 15 California counties with the most pesticide use. CDPH defined "near" as within 1/4 mile, a "common distance" when pesticides are used near schools. Monterey, Ventura, Tulare, and Fresno counties had the most students and schools located within a quarter-mile of where pesticides are used.
Latino school children are 91 percent more likely than white students to attend schools near fields with heavy pesticide use.
Dr. Asa Bradman reviewed the report for CDPH. He directs the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at UC Berkeley.