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‘Parents Should Be Outraged’: Congress Weighs Legislation to Wipe Out State, Local Laws Designed to Protect Kids From Pesticide Exposure

Lawmakers are considering several bills that would block states and cities from limiting pesticides, even for farm fields located close to thousands of U.S. schools. Critics warn the measures threaten safeguards for children’s health and override states’ authority over toxic risks.

Federal lawmakers are weighing multiple proposals that could block state and local authorities from limiting pesticide use in their communities — even near where kids play and learn.

This news comes as a new analysis by researchers with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that more than 4,000 elementary schools in the U.S. are located within 200 feet of farm fields, where pesticides are sprayed on crops.

The report included a map of 4,028 schools close to farms, but noted that some pesticides can drift miles from the intended crop target “creating risks for children at schools beyond the thousands EWG identified.”

Many pesticides are hazardous to children’s health. Some are neurotoxins that impair development and others are linked to insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease and other metabolic disorders.

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