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Legislators address Toxins at Playgrounds, try to keep Jersey's Playing Fields Safe

beck_optSenator Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) today lauded the Senate Environment and Energy Committee for approving legislation of which she is a co-sponsor to limit children’s exposure to toxins at playing fields and playgrounds at K-8 schools and child care centers in New Jersey.

"There is a variety of well respected medical research linking exposure of young children to pesticides to cancer, neurological development problems, and other adverse health conditions," said Beck. "This bill works to limit that exposure by keeping toxic lawn care pesticides off school recreation areas that are frequented by young children. There are ample organic products and protocols available to maintain playing fields without endangering the health of young people and their developing bodies."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children have “unique susceptibilities to potential toxicities” and that repeated exposure to even low levels of toxic chemicals such as pesticides is “an ongoing focus of concern and inquiry”.

As of December 2010, thirty-six towns, two schools, and two counties voluntarily adopted pesticide free and/or natural organic policies for maintenance of public parks and playing fields. The legislation, S-1143, requires the use of non-toxic lawn maintenance protocols statewide for K-8 schools and child care centers.

It is supported by the New Jersey Education Association in addition to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The bill is also the Junior League of New Jersey’s statewide advocacy initiative.

“Congratulations and thanks are due to the Junior League, which has helped raise awareness and garner support for this legislation,” said the Senator. “I hope they’ll continue to engage on this issue until it reaches the Governor’s desk.”

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