Anyone that has ever volunteered or worked for a school will tell you that the rules for using chemicals on school grounds is very regulated. Plus when it comes to applying chemicals around children and or parents that’s a big no, no. So when a parent walked onto the Dollahan Elementary Campus Monday September 21st at 2pm and a maintenance employee sprayed chemicals from a back pack sprayer right in front of him right before dismissal from the school day there was an issue here that needed to be dealt with.
According to the RUSD website they only have the spray schedule for the 2014 school year nothing for this year. We went up to the front of the school and there was no notice for the spraying that the grounds crew was doing as well as nothing in the office.
In the video below you will see that the employee who is spraying chemical in the KINDERGARDEN play area is well protected wearing long sleeves, pants and gloves but where is the protection for all the kids and parents that are not protected.
State law requires that this type of spraying not be done when there is a chance that the wind can carry the product outside of the desired application area and effect other plants animals and people that are not protected. The worse part was when the Kindergarten volunteer was trying to keep kids out of the application areas. We did not want to include video of the children as to protect them.
Calls were put out to RUSD Maintenance and Operations Director Bill Ralph and nobody returned our calls. So when we received a second call about the same employee now spraying from a powered device during dismissal again on Thursday September 24th at 2pm. This was witnessed by parents and the Principal Mr. Husbands. Once again calls were put out to Director Bill Ralph and we were sent to Brian Montez the Grounds Supervisor. Mr. Montez denied that his staff was spraying and or even at Dollahan Elementry this week and said that the witnesses mistook RUSD employees for city employees. Mr. Montez said he could not comment on video proof that he had not seen yet (we sent him a copy). He also said that Roundup is safe and non toxic for people and children. As you can see in the picture below the tall grass that children are just about to walk through is very wet with active chemical.
A statement in a Toxic Free Website claims that Mr. Montez is wrong and that roundup is not safe for any human especially children. Roundup may claim its safe but they have twice been sued for those claims:
“According to its label, the re-entry period before anyone can safely enter areas that have been sprayed with RoundUp is four hours. As with any pesticide application, the person doing the spraying should read the entire product label and follow all instructions. Wear appropriate protective clothing to avoid the spray contacting your skin. At a minimum, this means long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
While the EPA does not allow manufacturers such as Monsanto to explicitly say that RoundUp is safe, it is certainly implied in their advertisements for the product. Recently I’ve seen a commercial for RoundUp showing a man dressed in shorts and short-sleeved shirt happily spraying and winning his battle against weeds. The New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has twice sued Monsanto successfully over false advertising, such as images of young children with bare legs playing on newly treated lawns.
You definitely want to avoid contact with the spray, and not just because of what is listed as its active ingredient, glyphosate. RoundUp also contains something called a surfactant that helps the spray stick better to whatever it contacts, whether it is the leaf of a plant or your skin. Some tests have indicated that the surfactant included in RoundUp may pose more hazards than glyphosate.”