Children have unique vulnerabilities that can lead to significantly greater amounts of pesticide exposure, and increasingly detrimental effects from these exposures, compared to adults. With more frequent hand-to-mouth behavior, children are much more likely to ingest pesticide residues from areas they come in contact with. Their decreased physical size makes even small amounts of pesticide ingestion detrimental to their health, especially during early developmental stages. 1
And of course, children play! Whether it’s recess, sports practice, a trip to the park, or simply playing outside at home, children come in contact with a lot of turf. The chemicals that are sprayed on that turf matter because scientific evidence shows it has an impact on their health. See the body of evidence below.
Good Neighbor Iowa recognizes there are situations where pesticides may be necessary in certain landscapes to protect child health, such as invasive species control or removing poison ivy. However, given the body of evidence, pesticide usage on common turf for cosmetic purposes is unjustifiable.
“Prenatal, household and occupational exposures (maternal and paternal) appear to be the largest risks. …Children’s exposure to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.”