S.C.R. NO.














Requesting the establishment of a working group to develop an action plan for addressing incidents of pesticide exposure at public schools.



     WHEREAS, research has shown that the detrimental effects of exposure to chemicals, such as pesticides, can be affected critically by the timing of the exposure, including what stage of life a person was in when the exposure occurred; and


     WHEREAS, as children are still developing, their bodies are particularly susceptible to pesticide exposure; moreover, as children's bodies have a higher surface to volume ratio than adults, proportionately, pesticide exposure may affect them more; and


     WHEREAS, the commercial application of pesticides has been suspected in many incidents of students and teachers becoming ill while on a school campus, including incidents occurring at Waimea Canyon School, Kauai, in November 2006 and January 2007; Kahuku High School, Oahu, in May 2007; and St. Joseph Elementary School, Oahu, in March 2008; and


     WHEREAS, on January 25, 2008, due to a noxious odor, ten students and one teacher at Waimea Canyon School were sent to the emergency room with symptoms of headaches, nausea, and dizziness; and


     WHEREAS, although the source of the odor has not been ascertained, the primary suspect is Syngenta Seeds, Incorporated, and its spraying of pesticides on lands it cultivates for farming that are adjacent to the school; and


     WHEREAS, after the January 25th incident, the Kauai representative of the Hawaii State Teacher's Association requested the Department of Health (DOH) to test the students and teachers for toxic levels of pesticides and was told in reply that it is not the Department's practice to conduct testing; and


     WHEREAS, members of the Oahu Retired Teachers Association and the Hawaii State Teacher's Association have voiced concern regarding pesticide spraying in proximity to, and on, school campuses; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Agriculture is requested to establish a working group to develop an action plan for addressing pesticide exposure at public schools and a monitoring program for schools that may be or may have been affected adversely from pesticide exposure; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group shall comprise:


     (1)  The advisory committee on pesticides, as established pursuant to section 149A-51, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and


     (2)  Two representatives of the Department of Education, including a school administrator and a teacher from school districts that contain schools located in close proximity to areas where the commercial application of pesticides has or is likely to occur; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group on pesticide use in proximity to schools is requested to investigate and issue findings, including but not limited to the conditions and requirements under which commercial application of pesticides may resume following an incident of pesticide exposure at a public school; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, the Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Education, the Director of Health, members

of the advisory committee on pesticides as defined in section 149A-51, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the Hawaii State Teacher's Association, and the Governor.









Report Title: 

Dept. of Agric. Working Group; Develop Plan; Pesticide Exposure at Public Schools