Media Release: March 30, 2007
Pesticide Lab Results
No pesticides within detectible limits were found in air samples collected both inside and outside South Woods Elementary School (SWES), according to results released today by an independent laboratory.
In six different samples taken on three different days, the detection limits for both Daizinon and Endosulfan were well below the permissible exposure limits of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH). The results also indicated no detection of Trifluralin, for which there are currently no governmental standards.
On two of the three days the testing was performed, ground type spraying was observed in the fields adjacent to the school.
The testing was conducted at the request of the St. Johns County School District, following the preliminary results of a high school science project conducted on private property near the elementary school. The results of the science project, as reported in a local newspaper article, indicated that unsafe levels of pesticides were found in the air on the South Woods campus.
“These results reaffirm what we already knew, that South Woods is a safe learning environment,” said SWES Principal Brian McElhone.
In an effort to ensure that the South Woods campus was safe for students and staff, the school district contracted the services of MACTEC, a Jacksonville engineering and consulting firm. In addition to testing the air quality, MACTEC also tested soil samples from the South Woods site on a different day.
The results of those tests indicated “trace” levels of Endosulfan and Diazinon more than 1,000 times below acceptable levels recommended by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. There was no evidence of Trifluralin in the soil samples.
MACTEC’s sample collection and analytical protocols were conducted as recommended by the laboratory in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), OSHA and NIOSH standards.
The MACTEC report also concluded that they did not have enough information to comment on the accuracy or validity of the class science project. Because of the incomplete information, it was not possible for them to compare MACTEC’s results with those of the class project.
“I am very pleased with the test results,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “While we were disappointed in the premature conclusions that were reached based on preliminary data, this new information should eliminate all concern regarding unsafe environmental conditions at South Woods.”
The MACTEC report is available on the school district website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us. Copies of the report are also available at South Woods Elementary School and at the District Office.