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Stop Poisoning our Children and our Environment

This petition had 282 supporters


Two days after kids returned for a new school year, parent were shocked to receive an email that the Santa Monica-Malibu School District (SMMUSD) Superintendent Sandra Lyon thought it was an appropriate time to apply highly toxic rodenticides to the Malibu schools campuses to kill gophers and ground squirrels. Parents, community members and even the Major of Malibu were outraged by the news and sent emails and made phone calls in protest of this poorly timed, overall bad decision. Not only are these rodenticides--Fumitoxin and Strychnine--dangerous to human health, especially to children’s growing bodies and developing brains, in addition they have disastrous consequences for the environment and often kill “non-targeted” animals in the food chain. 

This decision made by SMMUSD's Superintendent Sandra Lyon was even more shocking as just last year she was cited by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. for improper notification and violation of the Healthy Schools Act of 2000. This act provides parents protections under the law including prior notification, requiring the use of non-poisonous integrated pest management (IPM) solutions first before any poisons, the proper use of poisons, a restricted use of certain poisons, and proper record keeping. 

An IPM strategy is not a single pest management method but a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and actions. By using these techniques consistently, rodents can be controlled without poisons. As an simple example, trapping is very effective for gophers, yet SMMUSD did not even attempt to trap and went directly from doing nothing at all to using poisons. Whether SMMUSD's decision to poison gophers and ground squirrels is technically legal or not, sidestepping a real effort to actively apply alternative poison-free solutions, is not the intent of IPM or the Healthy Schools Act. 


There are a multitude of studies regarding pesticide and rodenticide use and the resulting various detrimental effects on human health including, but not limited to: immune system; endocrine system; accidental poisoning resulting in death; adverse effects on focus, attention-span and learning; as well as exacerbation of allergic reactions, namely - asthma attacks, eczema flare-ups, and cold- and flu-like symptoms due to inflammation of the mucosal tissue lining the nose, mouth and lungs. This is especially problematic for the most sensitive population - the many susceptible and immune compromised children who already suffer from environmental sensitivities and heightened reactivity to chemicals. 

We strongly request SMMUSD never consider any rodenticides or poisons in Malibu or Santa Monica Schools in an effort to provide a poison-free environment for all. All IPM efforts must be fully exhausted and only in the most desperate of cases as a last resort, should the least harmful poison be considered.



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