Healthy Schools Act: Requirements

Stefan P. Parnay, Agriculture, Weights and Measures - Marin County
In September 2000, Governor Davis signed into law the Healthy Schools Act of 2000 (Assembly Bill 2260). This law requires schools to notify parents, guardians, and school employees about pesticides used in their schools, and requires the Department of Pesticide Regulation to promote the voluntary adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in California schools. Most provisions of the law took effect January 1, 2001.


Responsibilities of School Districts

Designate a staff member (typically the Director of Maintenance and Operations) to be responsible for carrying out the requirements of AB 2260 at the schools in their district and training district staff in IPM practices. (If the district decides to use integrated pest management, the designee may also be the IPM Coordinator.)


Furnish annual, written notification to staff and parents and guardians of all students about pesticide products the school district expects to use on school grounds.
The notice must contain the following:
  • The name of each pesticide product
  • The active ingredient or ingredients in the product
  • Click here for more information on the Department of Pesticide Regulation web site.
Provide the opportunity for staff and parents to register with the school district if they want to be notified of individual pesticide applications at the school before they occur.
  • Registered persons shall receive notification at least 72 prior to the application.
  • The notice must contain the following:
    • Product name
    • Active ingredient(s)
    • Intended date of application
Post warning signs at each area of the school where pesticides will be applied.
  • Signs must be posted 24 hours in advance and remain 72 hours after application.
  • Signs must be sufficient, in the district’s opinion, to restrict uninformed access to treated areas.
  • Signs must prominently display the phrase "Warning/Pesticide Treated Area" and include the following:
    • Product name
    • Manufacturer’s name
    • The USEPA’s product registration number
    • Intended date and areas of application
    • Reason for application

In case of a pesticide emergency, the warning sign shall be posted immediately upon application and shall remain posted until 72 hours after application.

Exemptions. The notification and posting requirements above do not apply to the following:
  • Self-contained baits or traps
  • Gel or paste used in crack and crevice treatments
  • Any pesticide exempted from regulation by the USEPA pursuant to FIFRA
  • Antimicrobial pesticides including sanitizers and disinfectants.
For more information on exemptions, see the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s web site:

Maintain records at the school site of all pesticide use for 4 years.
  • This can be simply a copy of the posted warning sign with the amount of pesticide written on it.
  • Records will be available to the public upon request.


"Emergency conditions" are defined in the law as "circumstances in which the school district designee deems that the immediate use of a pesticide is necessary to protect the health and safety of pupils, staff, or other persons, or the school site."
  • In an emergency, staff, parents, and guardians need not be notified 72 hours in advance.
  • The school district designee or IPM Coordinator must make every effort to provide the notification.
  • Warning signs (see above) should be posted immediately upon application and remain posted for 72 hours.

Responsibilities of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)

Promote and facilitate the voluntary adoption of integrated pest management in school districts that voluntarily choose to do so.

Develop criteria for identifying least-hazardous pest control practices and encourage their adoption.

Develop a model program guidebook that describes essential program elements for a school district that has adopted IPM.

Maintain a Web site as a comprehensive directory of resources describing and promoting least-hazardous practices in schools. An electronic copy of the guidebook will be available on the Web site.

Prepare a school pesticide use form to be submitted to DPR at least annually by anyone engaged in pest control for hire in a school district.

For more information visit DPR’s web site:

Or contact Dr. Nita Davidson at DPR, (916) 324-4100.