Many pesticides are linked to birth defects, cancer, or gene mutation in humans and other animals. Side effects from exposure also includes headaches, dizziness, stomach and intestinal upsets, numbness of hands and feet, spasms, convulsions and heart attacks.
Children are more susceptible to the health effects of pesticides because they play close to the ground, where pesticides settle. They also have frequent hand-to-mouth activity, causing them to ingest and breathe in pesticides unknowingly.
But fields can be maintained just as well, the kid-safe organic way.
Everyday practices used to maintain school and community playing fields expose children to toxins that can cause permanent health issues. Communities across the country are adopting Integrative Pest Management (IPM) and organic care practices as cost-effective solutions.
To learn more about IPM, and get the tools to start an IPM program at your school, see the Environmental Protection Agencys Integrated Pest Management in Schools guide, and Beyond Pesticides Pesticide and Playing Fields Fact Sheet (pdf).
For more tips, sign up for the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology's Greening Your Life newsletter.