Verifiable School Integrated Pest Management in the New Orleans Parish School System
The City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board (NOMTCB) will implement programs to provide healthier environments for nearly 40,000 children in 88 public schools. NOMTCM is working in collaboration with Texas AgriLife, Louisiana Department of Health, and Tulane University School of Medicine to implement school Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in New Orleans, specifically to reduce some of the highest rates of allergies and asthma in the nation.
Hurricane Katrina (2005) left many schools in disrepair which worsened the already serious pest issues. Prior to the natural disaster, there had been little to no oversight of pesticides, industrial chemicals, and management of pests by school staff, custodial services, and pest management professionals. The damage produced by that natural disaster further increased the likelihood of this region’s children being exposed to pesticides.
Enabled by this grant, NOMTCB and its partners will tackle these issues through a verifiable IPM program.
- Reduce human exposure to harmful pests by 60 percent, with a special focus on reducing the risk of exposure to children.
- Reduce human and environmental exposure to pesticides by 40 percent.
- Implementation of a verifiable school IPM program in all Orleans Parish schools, bringing them into compliance with Louisiana’s school IPM laws.
Programs & Activities
Pamphlets and other written materials. There will be education sessions for parents and interested community members to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the discussion and transition to School IPM.
Information Gathering & Knowledge Transfer
- An exchange of information will focus on research, pesticide, and economic audits, reports, assessments of asthmatic children, pest inspections of each school project, and the deployment of surveys to evaluate feedback, noting that schools will be scored using the success guidelines of the IPM Institute of North America.
- Guidelines and written policies regarding chemical applications, pesticide use, storage, disposal, and labeling will be developed or revised to provide clearer requirements to schools.
- Trainings will be implemented for school staff, teachers, students, administrators, and pest management professionals.
- Specific training will be developed and offered to IPM coordinators to become certified school employee pesticide applicators.
- School stakeholders in each parish will be asked to sign a statement indicating their commitment to IPM and to having an IPM plan in place for each school..
- A reduction in pesticide use by unlicensed applicators, better understanding and use of less hazardous pesticides and pesticide formulations, fewer pesticide applications through the use of action thresholds for pests.
- Improved indoor air quality, and reduced storm runoff contamination.
- Measurements to quantify pesticide use and the frequency of applications.
Human Health Impacts
- Reduce symptoms of allergies and asthma, bacterial and viral infections, poisonings (acute and chronic) associated with exposure to pesticides, industrial chemicals, and pests.
- Improved indoor air quality, and reduced student and staff absenteeism.
- The IPM program will result in cost savings through the elimination of unnecessary pesticide use.
- In addition to the benefits of reduced pesticide use, the community will gain knowledge and familiarity with IPM methods through open education sessions.