ICS Magazine

ISSA Successful in Securing Exemption for Antimicrobial Pesticides

April 22, 2005
Lincolnwood, IL, USA-The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has adopted final regulations requiring day care centers to notify parents and guardians before a pesticide application. When first drafted, the notification requirements applied to all pesticide applications, including those involving antimicrobial products, but the department eventually agreed to ISSA's request that a specific exemption be provided for antimicrobials.

The new notification requirements, which became effective March 15, provide that a day care center must notify all parents and guardians before a pesticide application or maintain a registry of parents and guardians who elect to receive notification. In either case, notification must be provided at least two, but no more than 30, days before the application.

The regulations further note that notification may be provided through the use of newsletters, bulletins, calendars, or other written communication methods.

As mentioned, when the new notification requirements were originally drafted, they applied to all pesticide products, including antimicrobials. Arguing that subjecting disinfectants and sanitizers to prior notification is a nonsensical proposition with unintended consequences, ISSA requested that a specific exemption be provided for such products. The department agreed with ISSA's argument and amended the regulations to exempt "antimicrobial agents, such as disinfectants, sanitizers or deodorizers" as well as "insecticide baits and rodenticide baits."

The new regulations also note that, if economically feasible, day care centers are required to adopt and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that relies on a variety of nonchemical methods as well as pesticides, when needed, to reduce pest infestations to acceptable levels and to minimize children's exposure to pesticides.

As of this writing, the official online version of the Illinois Administrative Code (Title 407) had not been updated to include the new requirements. When updated, the new requirements will be found at http://www.ilcode.net/CodeText.asp?citeid=712121.

For the past couple of years, states have become increasingly concerned with the potentially harmful effects pesticide products can have on people and the environment and have intensified their regulation of pesticides generally. Most notably, numerous states, including Illinois, have begun to recognize the increased risks associated with pesticide exposure in children and have responded by enacting laws aimed at controlling pesticide use in schools and day care centers.

Although these new school and day care center pesticide-use laws primarily place legal and regulatory responsibilities on the schools and day care centers themselves, it is crucial that pesticide product suppliers, especially distributors, gain a complete understanding of the requirements. Those suppliers that gain an appreciation for their school/ day care center customers' compliance obligations and that recognize the profound effect that such laws have on their customers' day-to-day operations will be in a position to provide their customers with extremely valuable compliance assistance and enhance the overall supplier-customer relationship.

For more information on school and day care center pesticide-use laws, please contact Dan Wagner, ISSA, at 800-225-4772 or via e-mail at daniel@issa.com.