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Catherine Porter, Women's Cancer Resource Center
(510) 601-4040 ext. 302 --


Ani Gupta, Center for Environmental Health
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Coalition for a Healthy Oakland School Environment (CHOSE)
Applauds District Decision to End the Use of Toxic Pesticides in Oakland Schools

(Oakland) CHOSE and its member organizations are applauding the Oakland Unified School District's adoption of an alternative approach to pest control that focuses on prevention and least toxic remedies called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). "OEA (Oakland Education Association) and other CHOSE members are thrilled that the Oakland Unified School District is doing the right thing for its students by adopting an IPM and eliminating the use of the most dangerous pesticides on school grounds. When Oakland's schools are healthier, its students, teachers, and other staff will be healthier too," said Mark Rendon, Oakland teacher and OEA member. Last night, the Oakland District Board joined a small but visionary and growing number of public school districts that are adopting IPM's as a precautionary approach to guarding the health of its students and employees.

According to documents obtained from the Oakland Unified School District, highly toxic pesticides are used by the District to control pests and weeds. The information, obtained by the Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) and CHOSE, showed that chemicals such as Dursban (chlorpyrifos), a dangerous neuro-toxin which the EPA recently banned from manufacture, are used on Oakland school playgrounds and other areas on district campuses. The documents also show that the District uses Round-Up (glyphosate), which can result in reproductive damage as well as damage to the kidney and liver, and some studies show a link between the chemical and cancer.

A report recently issued by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Poisoned Schools: Invisible Threats, Visible Actions, revealed that children are at increased risk from environmental toxins. Because their organ systems are still developing, children absorb and handle toxins differently than adults. They also consume more calories, drink more water and breathe more air proportionately per pound of body weight than adults do, increasing their exposure to environmental threats. In addition, because children are more curious, they are more likely to come into contact with contaminants and ingest them through outside play. Teacher and parent Toni Morozumi, and volunteer for WCRC and Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) said, "Children are the most vulnerable among us. It makes sense that chemicals which may lead to serious health problems such as nerve damage or cancer should not be anywhere near Oakland's kids. Congratulations to the District for making our children's health a priority."

On June 14, 2001, at 10:00 a.m. a news conference [took] place on the steps of the administrative offices of the Oakland Unified School District at 1025 Second Avenue, Oakland.

Coalition for a Healthy School Environment (CHOSE) is a coalition of Oakland parents and teachers and local community, health, and environmental organizations, including Oakland Education Association (OEA), Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC), Center for Environmental Health (CEH), Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR), and Pesticide Watch.

Catherine Porter
Legal Services and Public Policy Coordinator
Women's Cancer Resource Center
3023 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 601-4040 ext. 302

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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. EHN brings you topics on this page that need your immediate attention The URL for the Press Release section is