Legislation introduced that will ban the use of Roundup at schools

Friday, May 24, 2019

Legislation especially important in light of recent cases connecting Roundup to cancer

Torrance, CA – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) introduced Assembly Bill 468 that prohibits the use of the lawn care pesticide Roundup on school sites.  Roundup, which contains the chemical glyphosate, has been cited in recent court cases for causing cancer.  Indeed, earlier this month, a judge ordered Roundup’s parent company Bayer AG to pay more than $2 billion in damages to a California family that claimed they got cancer from using Roundup for several decades.

“We need to protect our kids from toxic pesticides being used at our schools. Despite the industry’s denials, there is growing evidence that glyphosate, the active chemical in the weed killer Roundup, causes cancer.  California should ban Roundup at our schools,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi.

Under the California Healthy Schools Act of 2000, schools and day care centers are encouraged to use “effective least toxic management practices” and develop Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans pursuant to that goal.  Despite this commendable goal, California schools continue to use pesticides that are hazardous to children’s developing bodies and organ systems.  According to a California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) report, the probable carcinogen glyphosate, acute rat poison strychnine, and possible carcinogen bifenthrin, represent the three most frequently used pesticides on California school sites.  DPR says 58% of pesticide applications occurred outdoors, with roughly 75% during school days.

According to recent data, 178 different active pesticide ingredients were used in California schools in 2015, with the probable carcinogen glyphosate and acute poison strychnine being the top two most used chemicals. Of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 16 are possible and/or known carcinogens, 17 have the potential to disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system, 21 are linked to reproductive effects and sexual dysfunction, 12 have been linked to birth defects, 14 are neurotoxic, 25 can cause kidney or liver damage, and 26 are sensitizers and/or irritants.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the Assistant Majority Leader for Policy and Research,  represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson.  Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Kerry Jacob, kerry.jacob@asm.ca.gov