Pesticides in Schools

Pesticide exposures can cause problems to children’s health in schools. Both pests and pesticides have been associated with asthma symptoms in children. Schools may reduce children’s absences from school by reducing pests and pesticides. Join us to create a safe, clean and healthy learning environment for our students.

Click here to find out how some schools are using integrated pest management to prevent pests in schools and reduce children's exposure to pesticides.

Rulemaking on Pesticides in Schools

Congratulations to the Indiana Pesticide Review Board, which voted on Sept. 2, 2010, to approve rules that require anyone applying pesticides at a school be a licensed applicator or under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator. Pesticides also may not be used when children are present. The rule became final in October 2010 with Gov. Daniels' signature.

The school pesticide rule is the culmination of years of work to improve pest management and reduce pesticide exposure in Indiana schools. In 2001, with pressure from the General Assembly and Pesticide Review Board, the Indiana School Board Association adopted a school pesticide policy and encouraged voluntary adoption at school districts throughout the state.

Later reviews by the State Chemist's office found that while many schools had adopted a policy to reduce the use of pesticides, just over half the schools that had adopted a pest management policy actually were following it.
The new rule is intended to minimize the potential for pesticide exposure to children at schools by ensuring the following:
(1) Pesticides are used only by a certified applicator or an individual operating under the direct supervision of the certified applicator.
(2) Pesticides are not used when children are present.
(3) Pesticides are stored in locked storage areas.
(4) Except for emergency situations school corporations provide 48-hour, advance notice of pesticide applications to parents or guardians on a notification registry.
(5) School corporations keep records of pesticide application.