This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In November, the American Academy of Pediatrics released the report "Pesticide Exposure in Children," which outlined the effects of pesticide exposure in children, including pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems. The report also charts our collective shortfalls, including medical training, public health tracking and regulatory actions.
Current Utah law requires that pest-control companies notify customers of the associated risks of these chemicals, but it doesn't require any regard for others who might be exposed, such as the neighbors of customers. Addressing this regulatory shortfall, Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, has plans to introduce a bill in the 2013 session of the Utah Legislature titled, "Notification for Spraying of Pesticide or Fertilizer."
As the father of a pediatric cancer survivor, and a once-permanent fixture in the oncology unit at Primary Children's Hospital, I wholeheartedly champion Davis' efforts to join 21 other states in adopting laws to warn people. I am a proponent of not only mandatory lawn signs (currently voluntary in Utah), but I support 48-hour notification, too.
In the words of the Drake James Gratton Memorial Fund, "… because kids can't fight cancer alone." I urge everyone to contact their legislators, and tell them you're in!