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Hundreds of Children Exposed to Pesticide in US

icide Endosulfan I; it had been picked up from residue on the grass and absorbed into her bloodstream through her skin. Officials later found five other pesticides on school grounds and fined the apple grower for forging his applicator's license.

Two years ago, 600 students and staff members were evacuated from an Edinburg, Texas, elementary school after pesticides drifted from a cotton field into the school's air conditioning system. Thirty-nine people developed nausea and headaches.

EPA officials say they have no real idea how often pesticides waft onto school grounds. The EPA must register pesticides before they are sold, but federal law does not restrict where they can be sprayed.

Once the EPA approves a product, federal law requires manufacturers to report any "unreasonable adverse effects on the environment of the pesticide" that their products cause. Activists say industry is essentially allowed to police itself.

CropLife America, a national organization representing suppliers of farm pesticides, said their use near schools is well-regulated.

"We're really committed to public safety," said spokeswoman Donna Uchida. "Any kind of use of a pesticide has a labeling requirement that is imposed to protect human health and the environment."


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