Take Action for a Non Toxic Oregon

Did you know that Oregon State University sanctions the use of dangerous pesticides on school grounds, placing our children at risk and prioritizing killing weeds over protecting children’s health?

Our children bear an unfair burden of pesticide exposure on school grounds. Applying known and probable carcinogens on school grounds is unethical and harms the most vulnerable members of our community, our youth.

Despite the proven risk of cancer and other harm, Oregon State University publishes a list of chemicals approved for school use! Over 50% of these herbicides contain active ingredients that are known or suspected carcinogens and/or reproductive and/or developmental hazards. Most of them are mixtures of multiple pesticides, yet there is no evidence that it is safe to spray tank mixes of toxic chemicals on school and park grounds.


Our goal is to raise your voices at the state level!  We want to hold our agencies accountable to the people who work and reside in Oregon, send our children to Oregon schools and pay taxes to support these schools.

You can help by reaching out the following people via email or a phone call to let them know your thoughts about placing this unfair burden on our children. Let’s ask for community listening sessions and ways to submit formal testimony about the State’s IPM policy on school grounds.

Step 1: Send an email to Katie Murray (OSU State IPM Coordinator) and be sure to cc the contacts listed below, including Representative Courtney Neron and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, who have expressed interest in crafting state policies to better protect children from pesticides. See sample email below.
Step 2: Follow up with a phone call if you do not hear a response within 48 hours.


See contact information for all of Oregon’s State Senators
See contact information for all of Oregon’s State Representatives in the House
Don’t know who represents you? Find your legislators



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Oregon State University (OSU) is putting our children in harm’s way by sanctioning spraying weeds over children’s health. Instead of supporting non-toxic landscape methods for schools, they provide a list of known and suspected cancer-causing pesticides to be sprayed on school grounds. Share this post and help us urge OSU to protect our families from harmful pesticides.“


The pediatric health burden of pesticide exposure includes both acute and chronic health impacts. Acute symptoms range from mild and subtle to severe (e.g., nausea, headaches, skin rashes, eye irritation, seizures, coma, and death). Chronic conditions associated with pesticides in epidemiological studies of children include birth defects, cancer, asthma, and neurodevelopmental/neurobehavioral effects.” – Catherine J. Karr, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington

When children are growing and their bodies are maturing, they are more susceptible to harm from small amounts of cancer-causing and brain-damaging pesticides. Shouldn’t we be focusing on eliminating children’s exposure to neurotoxic and cancer-causing pesticides rather than defending the need to spray herbicides on school grounds to kill dandelions and crabgrass? Let’s work together – parents, teachers, agencies and electeds– to assure that children are safe from pesticide exposures at schools and get the protection and attention they deserve.” – Lisa Arkin, Executive Director of Beyond Toxics

But children can also be exposed to pesticides- in schools, parks or playgrounds… [and] a number of studies have found an association between pesticides and certain childhood cancers”. There is “increasing concern about chronic low-level pesticide exposure during childhood and its influence on childhood cancers.” – Dr. Bruce Lanphear, Professor of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Pesticides may also have detrimental effects on human health, with young children among the particularly vulnerable. Recent research suggests that even low levels of pesticide exposure can affect young children’s neurological and behavioral development. Evidence shows a link between pesticides and neonatal reflexes, psychomotor and mental development, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.”Jianghong Liu, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health, Perelman School of Medicine


To: katie.murray@oregonstate.edu
cc: spage@oda.state.or.us, ataylor@oda.state.or.us,
rkachadorian@oda.state.or.us, Rep.AlissaKenyGuyer@oregonlegislature.gov,
Subject: Will you protect our children from pesticides?


Hello Katie,

I am writing to let you know that I have reviewed OSU’s list of allowed pesticides on school grounds in accordance with Oregon State IPM policy, and I have questions and concerns to share with you and the rest of the IPM Committee. I have a child that attends (insert school name here) and I was very alarmed to learn that at least half of the pesticides permitted on school grounds are known or suspected carcinogens or reproductive toxins. It is unacceptable for Oregon’s top IPM educators to place this unfair burden on my family by potentially exposing my child to harm in the name of killing weeds. There is no good excuse to put the removal of unsightly plants above protecting children’s health and well being.

As an Oregon resident, taxpayer and parent, it is my responsibility to hold our public entities accountable for decisions that impact our community and to ensure that the needs of our children are taken into account in the decision-making process. I write to request that the OSU IPM Coordinating Committee hold public listening sessions and establish a process for Oregonians to submit their concerns about OSU’s IPM list of allowed pesticides.

Additionally, I would like to know how you, in your position of authority, will take action to end the use of pesticides linked to cancer, brain-damage and endocrine disruption in children.

Thank you very much for your time, I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Signed…Your name here, title and/or city of residence.

Add additional info here. Please feel free to attach scientific papers and additional resources to help people better communicate about pesticides and children’s health with other stakeholders.