Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

New law requires annual training for anyone applying pesticides at school sites

UC IPM's online course for IPM in school and child care settings satisfies the new training requirement of the Healthy Schools Act.
School is already back in session for many children in districts throughout California, and several others will be starting back to school in the next couple of weeks.

While students and teachers were enjoying summer break, an amendment to the Healthy Schools Act (HSA) went into effect on July 1. It requires teachers, custodians, administrators, other staff or volunteers, and licensed pest management professionals applying any pesticide (this includes disinfectants and antimicrobials) at a school site to take an annual training course covering school integrated pest management (IPM). The training course must be approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).

An online course, Providing Integrated Pest Management Services in Schools and Child Care Settings, developed by the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program and the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), has recently been approved by DPR to satisfy the annual training requirement of the HSA. Although this course was designed for licensed pest management professionals, anyone applying any type of pesticide in schools or child care centers will benefit from the course.

IPM is a strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests through a combination of techniques such as monitoring for pest presence, cleaning up food sources, sealing up cracks, and excluding pests with screens. Effective pesticides that pose the least possible hazard and that minimize harm to people, property, and the environment are used only after careful monitoring indicates they are needed.

The HSA encourages the use of IPM in schools and child care centers and gives parents and the public the ability to know when and where certain pesticides are used in these facilities. It was originally signed into California law in September 2000 and is located in four different California codes: education, food and agricultural, business and professions, and health and safety. The law has been amended several times. The most recent revision to the HSA was signed into law in September 2014 by Gov. Brown.

Prior to July 1, schools were already required to do the following:

  • Designate an IPM coordinator at the school or district level to make sure the requirements of the HSA are met
  • Create an IPM plan
  • Provide annual written notification to all parents and staff of pesticide products intended for use at the school site during the year and allow the opportunity for them to be notified before certain applications
  • Post warning signs where certain pesticides are applied
  • Keep records of pesticide applications
  • Send pesticide use reports to DPR annually

Some pesticide products are exempt from the IPM plan, notification, posting, recordkeeping, and reporting* requirements of the HSA at school sites. These are reduced-risk pesticide products, and their use is encouraged at schools if pesticides are deemed necessary. These include:

  • Self-contained baits or traps
  • Gels or pastes used indoors in cracks and crevices
  • Antimicrobials, including sanitizers and disinfectants
  • Pesticides exempt from registration, such as food grade oils

However, these products are NOT exempt from the Healthy Schools Act annual training requirement that went into effect July 1. Anyone who uses these products—a licensed professional, school staff or child care staff—is still required to take the HSA annual training course.

To satisfy this annual training requirement, take the free UC IPM online course by visiting the UC IPM online training webpage. For more on school and child care IPM and other courses that satisfy the Healthy Schools Act training requirement, visit the DPR website.

*Licensed pest management professionals hired to apply pesticides at schools or licensed child care centers must continue to submit their regular pesticide reports of ALL registered pesticides to DPR annually and to the county monthly.

 

Flow chart created by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to help determine if certain pesticide products are lower-risk.
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 9:58 AM
Tags: IPM (19)

Comments:

1.
Hi, are you sure that the term "disinfectants" are included as one of the reduced risk pesticide products? Disinfectants are currently registered as pesticide products and required to be reported since 2000. Am I mistaken? Is the term anti-microbials from the law? Disinfectants are considered antimicrobials. Maybe you mean to just say hand sanitizers that contain ethyl alcohol? Thank you in advance for clarification of your statement below:  
 
 
Some pesticide products are exempt from the IPM plan, notification, posting, recordkeeping, and reporting* requirements of the HSA at school sites. These are reduced-risk pesticide products, and their use is encouraged at schools if pesticides are deemed necessary. These include:  
 
Self-contained baits or traps  
Gels or pastes used indoors in cracks and crevices  
Antimicrobials, including sanitizers and disinfectants  
Pesticides exempt from registration, such as food grade oils

Posted by susan on January 25, 2017 at 11:06 PM

2.
Hi Susan,  
 
You are correct in saying that disinfectants are registered pesticides and are antimicrobials. However, disinfectants are included in the list of pesticide products that are exempt from most of the requirements of the Healthy Schools Act. The reason that they are exempt is because they are used for health and safety purposes. If a school employee uses these products, they do not have to add them to the IPM plan, notify, post, report, or keep records. However, anyone using these at a school site must take the annual training required by the HSA. Disinfectants or other registered pesticides are NOT exempt from the training requirement.  
 
The use of hand sanitizers actually does not fall under this new requirement. As they are applied on the human body and not on an object such as a desk or countertop, the training requirement wouldn't apply.  
 
If you are a licensed pest management professional and report these as part of your work, that would not change. You would continue to report as you normally do.  
 
Here is a little more information on antimicrobials and the Healthy Schools Act from the Department of Pesticide Regulation website.  
 
http://apps.cdpr.ca.gov/schoolipm/pop_ups/antimicrobials.html  
 
http://apps.cdpr.ca.gov/schoolipm/hsa_flowchart.pdf  
 
http://apps.cdpr.ca.gov/schoolipm/school_admin/main.cfm  
 
I hope this helped clarify a little.  
 
Cheryl

Posted by Cheryl Reynolds on January 26, 2017 at 11:37 AM

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