The survey ‘A Toxic Education?’ is released today (January 14) by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Pesticides Action Network (PAN).

Of 206 local authorities polled, 15% responded with more than half saying they used four potentially cancer causing chemicals and seven other chemicals which can have a negative impact on children’s health.

It found 57% of schools used pesticides including dichlobenil the most strongly linked chemical to cancer causing carcinogen and well as the potentially cancerous oxadiazon, sulfosulfuron and mecoprop.

HEAL Sick of Pesticides campaigner ,Vicki Hird, said: “This is a hidden menace – carcinogens may be used where children play and learn, as this survey reveals.

“But it is an avoidable menace and the UK government must move quickly to eliminate possible carcinogens from schools and help local authorities go pesticide free in their buildings grounds and in the food they serve to children.”

The Government is due to launch a consultation on its national plans for pesticide use later this year.

The full report can be downloaded here

Luke Walsh

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